Free LPG scheme to cost govt Rs 340 more per connection
- Karnataka government will incur an additional expenditure of Rs 340 on each of its Anila Bhagya beneficiaries (providing free LPG connections and gas stoves to BPL families) in order to claim credit for the scheme by affixing a sticker “Mukhya Mantri Anila Bhagya Yojane” on the gas stoves.
- The state Food and Civil Supplies department had approached the state-run oil marketing companies – IOC, BPCL and HPCL urging them to provide domestic LPG connections at Rs 1,600 each.
- The actual price of a LPG connection is Rs 1,940. But the oil companies flatly refused, saying the state cannot claim credit for the scheme after obtaining the connections at a lower price.
- The Centre, however, gets the connections for its Ujjwala scheme at Rs 1,600 each.
- So the state government has now decided to implement the scheme (Anila Bhagya) without the oil companies’ support.
- The department will collect applications from eligible beneficiaries and will submit them to the local LPG distributors directly & will spend Rs 1,940 on each connection (Rs 340 more than what is offered under Ujjwala scheme).
- The gas stove that we will provide along with the LPG connection will have the sticker,” Food and Civil Supplies department secretary Harsh Gupta said.
- The state and the Union governments are at loggerheads over implementing respective free LPG schemes in the state.
- While the Centre’s Ujjwala scheme envisages providing free LPG connections to non-LPG BPL families according to the 2011 Socio-Economic
- Caste Census (SECC), the state’s Anila Bhagya scheme aims to provide free LPG connections plus a gas stove to five lakh non-LPG BPL families (those who are not included in SECC). Both the schemes are said to be aimed at wooing the electorate ahead of the crucial Assembly elections in the state.
- About 1.30 crore families in the state, 1.10 crore families already have LPG connections. But all 20 lakh non-LPG families are not covered under the Ujjwala scheme.
- The state government has, therefore, come up with Anila Bhagya. The department has developed its own software to process the applications submitted under Anila Bhagya. It is mandatory for beneficiaries to submit their Aadhaar numbers
CM photo on message card
- The department plans to distribute a “message card” which will have a photograph of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on it to all the beneficiaries under Anila Bhagya.
- The card will be given along with the documents pertaining to the connections.
- It will have full details of the Anil Bhagya scheme, including subsidy given by the government, and safety measures to be taken for using LPG gas
Cooperative bank loan waiver expected to help 1.8 lakh farmers
- The announcement of the State government to waive farmers’ crop loans up to Rs. 50,000 from cooperative banks is expected to help around 1.80 lakh farmers of the district.
- According to officials of DCC bank, 1.29 lakh farmers have taken loans below Rs. 50,000 and would get the full benefit of the scheme. The farmers who have taken loans till June 20 from cooperative banks would get the benefit. The farmers could also take more loans after this account is settled
- Those who have taken loans exceeding Rs. 50,000 would get the benefit of loan waiver, however they will have to clear the remaining amount. After repayment, they are also entitled to borrow more loans for agricultural purposes
- The DCC bank has a total of 28 branches and 269 cooperatives banks in the district. These have together disbursed loans to the tune of Rs. 828.48 crore, of which Rs. 697.38 crore would be waived.
- Officials said those who have promptly repaid their loan would not get any benefits of the scheme.
- This has apparently irked farmers who said that had they known about the loan waiver, they too would have not repaid the loan. These farmers said the government should extend similar benefits where they should be given a Rs. 50,000 loan for free.
- Many are also angry over the Union government’s decision not to waive off loans borrowed from nationalised banks. The farmers say that though they were expecting a complete loan waiver from the State government, atleast it had done something within its limit, unlike the Union government, which has done nothing to help.
- The total agriculture loan stands at around Rs. 52,000 crore in the State. Of this, over Rs. 42,000 crore was given by nationalised banks that function directly under Union government.
- When the major share is of nationalised banks, the Union government must also extend the benefits to farmers like the State has done. It is not fair that while a small section of the farming community gets loan waivers, a large section remains deprived of it
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