Newly-appointed Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday announced a new scholarship plan for the children of farmers in the state. “Rs 1,000 crore has been set aside for this special student stipend scheme which aims to promote higher education to the children of farmers,” he announced after attending the first cabinet meeting held just a few hours after he took over as the CM this morning.
Further, Bommai announced revisions to some of the existing schemes including pension for widows and the specially-abled in the state. “The pension disbursed under the Sandhya Suraksha Yojana will be increased to Rs 1,200 while the same for widows and the specially-abled will be hiked by Rs 200,” he announced.
Bommai stressed that the new government would be “pro-people” which prioritises welfare of farmers, poor, downtrodden, oppressed, backward communities, women and children.
He announced that the widow pension has been increased from Rs 600 to Rs 800. “This has been done at an additional cost of Rs 414 crore helping 17.25 lakh beneficiaries. Financial assistance for Divyang people have also been increased from Rs 600 to Rs 800 by spending another Rs 90 crore to aid 3.66 lakh beneficiaries,” he said. The CM added that the pension for the elderly under the Sandhya Suraksha scheme will be further hiked to Rs 1,200 from Rs 1,000 to aid 35.98 lakh people. The government will spend an additional cost Rs 863.52 crore for the same.
A known face to the media even during the tenure of former Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa as the government’s spokesperson after cabinet meetings, Bommai was addressing the media from the power corridors of Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru. He was the minister for parliamentary affairs, legislature, home, and law in the previous state cabinet.
Meanwhile, responding to a question on how the state cabinet would be expanded, Bommai ascertained, “The centre of powers will be in the team and not with individuals,” referring to the state and central leadership of BJP.
Further, he added that a new cabinet will be formed “only after discussion and deliberations with party seniors and the leaders at the Centre. “I have sought an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and shall visit him once I get it,” he clarified. He also added that the visit to Delhi will purely be for courtesy calls to Modi, the Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and BJP national president J P Nadda.
However, Bommai announced that he would visit Karwar in Karnataka to take stock of the flood-affected regions in the district on Thursday.