Rs 1,610-cr relief aid for lockdown-hit sectors in Karnataka

Bengaluru, May 6 (IANS) To bring quick relief to farmers, flower growers, washermen, barbers, auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers — some of the worst-affected by the Covid-19 induced lockdown, the Karnataka government on Wednesday announced a Rs 1,610-crore package to diverse sectors of the economy across the southern state.

“The state government will provide Rs 1,610-crore compensation/benefit to the people who are in distress due to the lockdown since March 25 and extended till May 17 to contain the coronavirus pandemic spread,” Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa told reporters here.

Among the beneficiaries of the special relief package are farmers and growers of flowers, vegetables and fruits, washermen, barbers, auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers who all suffered huge losses due to the prolonged lockdown, which has been extended twice since April 15 and May 4 till May 17.

“As growers have destroyed their flowers in 11,687 hectares due to lack of demand during the lockdown, Rs 25,000 compensation per hectare will be given to those who suffered crop loss to the extent of 1 hectare,” said Yediyurappa.

A separate relief package will be announced soon to farmers and growers of vegetables and fruits as they too suffered huge amount of losses due to the lockdown, said the chief minister on the occasion.

Similarly, service professionals such as 2,30,000 barbers and 60,000 washermen (dhobis) in urban and rural areas, who too have been affected by the lockdown, will be given one-time compensation of Rs 5,000 each.

About 7,75,000 auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers across the state, who also lost income due to lockdown, will be given one-time compensation of Rs.5,000 each.



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