Bengaluru: The Congress Legislature Party meet has recommended increase of quantum of rice being supplied to below poverty line (BPL) card holders in the state. With Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is all set to focus on Assembly elections scheduled to be held in 2018, the poor in the state could expect a slew of fresh freebies in the forthcoming budget to be presented in March. The BPL families would have reason to be happy as they would get 3kg more free rice per head from April.
The forthcoming budget, the penultimate one for the Siddaramaiah government just 14 months ahead of the 2018 Assembly election would be seen as the poll-oriented budget. The Congress Legislature Party meeting held here on Wednesday discussed a slew of welfare measures to strengthen the party’s connect with the poor.
The chief minister assured the party legislators to fulfill their demand for increasing the quantum of free rice being distributed through Anna Bhagya from the present 5 kg per head in a family to 8 kg per head in his next budget.
The chief minister has also agreed to the demand to continue distribution food grains through public distribution system for two more months for the families who have not yet provided Adhar link to their ration cards. The demand to distribute kerosene even for those who have LPG connections would also be fulfilled.
Majority of the party legislators wanted the annual MLAs’ Local Area Development Fund to be raised from the present Rs2 crore to Rs 3 crore, however Siddaramaiah declined to give any assurance citing resource constraints.
The meeting witnessed prolonged discussion on people’s plight in drought hit areas and urged the Chief Minister to provide liberal grants for digging borewells and setting up cattle shelters in drought-hit areas in the state.