BENGALURU NEWS: Hinting at a further extension of the current lockdown in Karnataka to curb the alarming number of Covid-19 cases in the state, chief minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday said he is looking at all possible avenues to provide a relief package for the people who are most hurt by the shutdown.
Speaking on the sidelines of inaugurating a triage center of the BBMP at Kengeri, Yediyurappa was questioned on whether he is considering any sort of financial assistance for the downtrodden and those hurt by the lockdown.
To this, he said: “I am contemplating this matter. The government is discussing the possible avenues to help ease the troubles of people due to lockdown. However, nothing is confirmed and we are still discussing the matter. I will announce when there is anything concrete.”
Yediyurappa is under considerable pressure from the opposition and the daily wagers including autorickshaws drivers, porters, barbers, and small-scale industries to announce a financial package to help them from the back-to-back lockdowns over the last two years since the pandemic broke in 2020.
Even the opposition is piling the pressure on the government, with Congress and JD(S) asking the government to have a “humane” approach towards those whose livelihood has been affected.
CMO officials suggest that the finance department, chief secretary, and other senior government officials have been tasked with the job of drawing up a feasible plan for announcing the relief package.
“The officials have been asked to even dip their hands into amount which can be spared by major private companies under the corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds towards this purpose,” said one CMO official.
On Monday, JD(S) floor leader and former CM H D Kumaraswamy held a video conference with his legislators to discuss the impact of Covid in the party held segments across the state.
Kumaraswamy in a series of tweets said with the government considering extending the lockdown, it should also ensure that there is enough assistance for the people to fend for themselves by announcing financial aid and food grains supply before extending it.
“While a lockdown may be necessitated to save peoples’ lives, it should not be one without considering the peoples’ basic necessities and livelihood,” said Kumaraswamy.
In the backdrop of the Congress announcing a Rs 100 crore allocation towards free vaccination drive, if the government gives it the permission to procure the vaccines from the open market when it is available, the JD(S) has said it is considering providing the new anti-Covid drug– 2DG–produced by the defense research and development organization (DRDO).
However, even this drug is in limited stock and the party is suggesting that this will be distributed when it is made available in the market.