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Karnataka budget 2017-18: Rs 100 crore for Namma Canteens, no VAT on wine and beer

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday presented his 12th budget and allocated Rs 100 crore for the setting up of Namma Canteens in Bengaluru, on the lines of Amma canteens introduced by late Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa.

198 such canteens will provide breakfast for Rs 5, lunch/dinner for Rs 10.

“Namma Canteen, a novel programme will be started to supply breakfast, lunch and dinner to the common man at affordable prices,” Siddaramaiah said.

He said one canteen in each of the 198 wards of Greater Bengaluru limits would be opened, where breakfast would be available at Rs five and lunch and dinner at Rs 10 and allotted Rs 100 crore for the scheme.

The Karnataka Budget 2017-18 is said to be Siddaramaiah’s best chance to muster support ahead of the 2018 Assembly Elections.

During his Budget address, Siddaramaiah also announced lifting of VAT on wine, beer, wine and hard liquor.

At the same time, the new budget also increased the rice quota under ‘Anna Bhagya scheme’ from 5 kg to 7 kg.

“On demand from people,food grains being distributed under Annabhagya scheme will be increased from five kg to seven kg per person,” he said.

He said 20 lakh poor families have already been brought under ‘Annabhagya’ scheme through Public Distribution System which was announced by Siddaramaiah after assuming power with an intention to free the state from hunger.

To encourage higher education, the government proposed that free laptops will be supplied to students getting admission in 2017-18 to Engineering,?Medical, Polytechnic and First Grade Colleges.

Around 1.5 lakh students will be benefited from this.

In a move considered as “linguistic appeasement”, the budget states that government will take steps to ensure 100 per cent preference in employment of Group C & D jobs to Kannadigas and five per cent for differently abled in the private sector.

State government proposed to add 3975 MW capacity during 2017-18, including 1600 MW from Yaramaras? project, 1000 MW from Solar Energy Park of Pavagada and 1375? MW from renewable energy sources.

Under Bhagya Jyothi Scheme, electricity being given free of cost will be increased from 18 to 40 units, the chief Minister said, adding that five villages in each MLA? constituency will be converted into Model Electricity Villages by taking steps for the efficient usage of electricity.

Moreover, the government has given Rs 400 crore grant for Chennai-Bengaluru-Chitradurga Industrial corridor.

Further, Siddaramaiah announced extension of “Krishi Bhagya” to all talukas of coastal and Malnad areas (excluding command areas) and said Rs 600 crore grant will be?provided for this purpose.

Stating that action would be initiated to establish Primary Agricultural Co-Operative Societies in every Grama Panchayat where it is financially viable, he also said loans at four per cent rate of interest being disbursed through co-operative societies to the women Self Help Groups will be provided at zero per cent rate of interest from this year.

PTI