Minister seconds CM, says it's difficult to be non-corrupt

Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) Minister Krishna Byre Gowda. DH file photo

Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) Minister Krishna Byre Gowda on Tuesday said that the drastic reduction in the allocation of funds by the Centre for drinking water projects had burdened the exchequer.

Speaking to reporters after conducting a review meeting with department officials, Gowda slammed the Centre for “shirking” its responsibilities.

He said that the fund-sharing ratio between the state and the Centre had come down from 50:50 to 88:12. The Centre, which had allocated around Rs 960 crore in 2013, had reduced the grants to Rs 290 crore by 2017-18.

The state had to increase its allocation from Rs 868 crore in 2013, to Rs 2,094 crore in 2017-18, the minister said. This had delayed the implementation of several drinking water projects in the state, he said.

Gowda said that the Centre was yet to release Rs 1,054 crore to Karnataka for works taken up under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).

Seconding Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, Gowda conceded that corruption was prevalent at all levels of administration. He said the quality of administration had deteriorated drastically over the last two decades. The minister claimed that it was difficult to remain sincere and non-corrupt in the current administrative set-up.

Kumaraswamy had, on Monday, said there was rampant corruption in the administration and that he wouldn’t last in power for long if he tried to cleanse the system.

Noting that it would be “self-deception” if one tried to deny the prevalence of corruption, Gowda said he would try and provide a clean administration during his second consecutive stint as minister.

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Minister seconds CM, says it's difficult to be non-corrupt

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