Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers H.N. Ananth Kumar said here on Saturday that the NDA government at the Centre had released more funds than the earlier UPA for taking up drought relief works in Karnataka.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s State Executive meet here on Saturday, he said “When UPA was in power, BJP was ruling in Karnataka. In 2007-08, the Union government had released just Rs. 269 crore against the State’s demand of Rs. 3,941.42 crore. In 2011-12, the State demanded Rs. 6,715.34 crore and the Centre gave only Rs. 479.34 crore. In 2012-13, the State demanded Rs. 11,489 crore as over 135 taluks were drought hit, but the Centre gave only Rs. 530.29 crore. Last year, the NDA government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave Rs. 1,782 crore and this year too the same amount was given,” he said. He added that the State government had not submitted Utilisation Certificate for the funds it received from the Centre last year.
Referring to Congress claiming credit for the Constitutional amendment to add Article 371(J), Mr. Ananth Kumar alleged that the Congress-led State government was not showing any interest in implementing the Article that provided special status to Hyderabad Karnataka region. “40,000 government posts are lying vacant in the region and the government is reluctant to fill them. Since 2013-14, budgetary allocations of Rs. 3,150 crore have been made for the development of the region under Article 371(J). But, the government has so far released only Rs. 1,330 crore, of which only Rs. 420 crore has so far been spent.”
Mr. Ananth Kumar said that he would talk to Union Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Seetharaman and Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan and find ways to address the issues related to red-gram.
“Increasing the Minimum Support Price and imposing duties on imports of pulses so as to ensure good price for the crop in the local market are the two major demands of red-gram growers in the region. We will hold discussions and find some solutions,” he said.