SC/STs to get interest-free loans, more milk subsidy

SC/STs to get interest-free loans, more milk subsidy

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Monday reached out to Dalits and tribals by announcing an additional Re 1 subsidy for milk producers and interest-free loans of Rs 10,000 for women.

Currently, milk producers in the state receive a subsidy of Rs 5 per litre. Milk producers belonging to SC/ST communities will get Rs 6, with the additional Re 1 funded under the Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan and Tribal Sub-Plan, Yediyurappa said. 

Also, a new scheme will be rolled out to give Rs 10,000 to SC/ST women. This will be on the lines of the Badavara Bandhu scheme launched by the previous HD Kumaraswamy-led Congress-JD(S) coalition to provide interest-free loans to street vendors. 

Karnataka has mandated spending 17.15% and 6.95% of the total budget allocation for SC and ST welfare, respectively, under the Karnataka Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan and Tribal Sub-Plan (Planning, Allocation and Utilisation of Financial Resources) Act, 2013. Implementation of this law is monitored by a state council chaired by the chief minister.

“In 2019-20, an allocation of Rs 21,602.62 crore under SC sub-plan and Rs 8,842.06 crore under ST sub-plan, totalling Rs 30,444.68 crore, has been provided,” Yediyurappa said after chairing the state council meeting. “There are 39 departments implementing the sub-plan works and they have achieved a progress of 18% till August. Directions have been issued to improve progress.”

Deputy Chief Minister Govind Karjol, who is in charge of social welfare, said unspent funds under the sub-plans will be used to build homes and other infrastructure for SC/STs in flood-hit areas. Accordingly, the government has estimated that a total of Rs 1,157.55 crore will be unspent under agriculture, horticulture, rural development, women & child development, public works, major irrigation, urban development and mines & geology departments.