Karnataka puts together revival plan, waits for Centre’s guidelines to open liquor shops
The Karnataka government is the first State in the country to put together a plan of action to revive the economy reeling under severe distress due to coronavirus pandemic.
As part of the revival plan the government is planning to auction 1,200 corner sites and also is waiting for Centre’s guidelines to lift lockdown to open liquor shops which is expected to bring in substantial revenues.
Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa told newspersons on Monday, after a meeting of various department officials along with his Cabinet colleagues, “the government by selling corner sites lying idle in possession with the Bengaluru Development Authority in Bengaluru to raise around Rs.15,000 crore. Covid-19 crisis has thrown our State into deep financial trouble and there is a need to find a solution to overcome the current financial crisis.”
He said several suggestions were put forth during the meeting and some of them will be implemented in a phased manner.
The Government has also decided to amend the law governing permission to allow private and co-operative housing societies to allocate sites to its members as hundreds of societies are waiting for approval from the government to allocate the sites. He also said it has been decided to speed up the disposal of cases related to regularisation of unauthorised constructions which are pending before the high court and the supreme court. “If the courts fasttrack the resolution of cases, thousands of people who own unauthorised houses will be relieved. This will in turn also help the government in mobilising resources for fund starved development works.”
He said the State government is under tremendous pressure to open liquor shops from April 15 as the ban on the sale of liquor has resulted in a loss of around Rs.1,800 crore in excise revenues since the lockdown was announced.
In the meeting it was decided to utilise Rs.1,000 crore available in Rajiv Gandhi Health University to upgrade medical college hospitals, Yediyurappa said.
The state is waiting for the Centre’s guidelines which are expected to be announced shortly at the end on 21-day lockdown to open up more sectors which are under stress.
The Chief Minister also appealed to sugar factory owners to clear the pending payment to the tune of Rs.2,834 crore to farmers in 11 districts. Yediyurappa said that State government has released ₹45 crore compensation to loss of paddy crop in Raichur and Koppal District due to hailstorm based on the report submitted by deputy commissioners. The government has also decided to distribute free milk to slum-dwellers for one more week.