CM Siddu Calls for Religious Tolerance,Inclusive Development & Defeat of Casteism , Communalism.



My dear Brothers and Sisters,

My heartiest greetings to everyone of you on the momentous occasion of 71st Indian Independence Day Celebrations.

On behalf of all of you, I gratefully acknowledge the self-less and supreme sacrifice made by scores of freedom fighters, who freed the nation from the shackles of slavery.

We have, just a week back observed, the 75th Anniversary of Quit India Movement, a decisive milestone in our freedom struggle. It is our patriotic duty to remember with utmost gratitude all those who laid their lives and suffered immensely during that movement.

Everyday we are having a peaceful night’s sleep in the safe confines of our homes. The credit for this peaceful life should entirely go to our ever vigilant and courageous soldiers guarding our frontiers.

Let’s pay our respectful homage to those soldiers, who laid down their lives fighting the enemy as well as salute those, including the uniformed forces who continue to fight the evil forces threatening to undermine the unity and integrity of our nation as well as its internal security.

Ours is not just a lip sympathy for the welfare of soldiers. We always pay our gratitude from our heart and through our actions. In view of this, we have decided to provide Government job for one dependent of the soldiers from Karnataka, who are martyred or permanently disabled in war or war-like situation.

Today, we are witnessing the phenomena of communalism and casteism raising their ugly heads all around, joined by facist forces. This is a very dangerous development about which all right thinking citizens are concerned.

Religion is a personal matter. It is sacrilegious to derive political benefit by sowing the seeds of hatred mongst persons, communities and religious sects.Today, the time has come to pledge ourselves to the task of annihilating those divisive forces actively promoting these kinds of practices, which are nothing but anti-national.

Our concept of development is based on inclusiveness that aims to usher in improved level of standard of living. I am proud to name this as the Karnataka Development Model.

The sources of inspiration behind this development model are the architects of social justice, gram swaraj and democratic socialism – Basavanna, Mahatma Gandhi and Dr B R Ambedkar, respectively, besides, host of other illustrious political and social thinkers.

The ideals of Kayaka and Dasoha, propounded by Basavanna have greatly influenced our style of governance and it is befitting that our Government made it mandatory to display the portrait of Basavanna in all the Government Offices in the State. This decision demonstrates the singular commitment of our Government for building a society comprising Anna, Jnana and Seva as dreamt by Basavanna.

Ours is a pluralistic society with many languages, cultures and communities. The strength of our nation lies in the fact that all these not only co-exist but are flourishing by retaining their respective identities within the democratic set-up as ordained by our constitution. This is unity not only in diversity, but also unity through diversity.

Every State has its own official language and our constitution recognizes the primacy of that language in the State to the exclusion of other languages. Hence, imposition of any other language in a State is unconstitutional and it is against the spirit of Formation of States on Linguistic basis.

The concept of co-operative federalism mandates that while local language’s primacy cannot be compromised, opportunities could be given to learn other languages too.

Hunger-free Karnataka was the motto of our Government on the very day it came to power. Through the much-acclaimed Anna Bhagya Yojana, about four crore people in the State are being provided with seven kilo grams of rice every month, free of cost, so that, each of them has two meals, daily. Under this scheme, Tur Dal is also being provided at subsidized rates. The salutary effect of the scheme is that the wages, which was hither to spent on rice can now be used for other purposes for improving their standards of living.

The efficacy of Anna Bhagya Yojana is evident by the fact that despite the State reeling under severe drought for the last three consecutive years, no deaths occurred due to hunger and no migration of labour and none went to bed without food.

The fact that our Government’s heart beats for lactating mothers and pregnant women is evident from the Mathru Poorna Yojana under which they are provided with mid-day meals. The scheme would be extended to all Anganwadis from October 2 this year to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. About 12 lakh persons are expected to avail the benefit under this scheme.

I am happy to announce that from tomorrow to feed people from the labour class and poor migrants to the city of Bengaluru, Indira Canteens are being opened in all the 198 wards of the city. In the first phase, in 101 wards, canteens are proposed to be started.

Our Government is committed to the welfare of the student community and it is our endeavor to ensure that they are not deprived of quality education because of lack of basic amenities. We have effectively implemented the Right to Education Act with a view to provide education for all as per the constitutional mandate.

School children are being provided mid-day meals; milk is being provided five days a week to school and anganwadi children, numbering about 1.08 crore and eggs are given to anganwadi children two days in a week to cater to their nutritional needs. About 62.50 lakh children are given free text books, 47.50 lakh are given free uniform, shoes and sox; five lakh are given bicycles. Under Vidyasiri Scheme, every month is given to 2.7 lakh students for theirboarding and lodging expenses, amounting to Rs 319 Crore.

Under the Kaushalya Karnataka Scheme, every year five lakh youth are proposed to be trained treading them to be employable as per the present day market needs. About 1.5 lakh students pursuing medical, engineering, polytechnic courses and first grade government and aided colleges are being provided with laptops, free of cost, so that, they are attracted to the present day Information Technology based education.

I am very pleased to announce that Dr B R Ambedkar School of Economics has been established in Bengaluru to commemorate the 125th Birth Anniversary of the Architect of the Constitution.

As many as 23 new hostels are proposed to be started in the Government Polytechnics to improve the enrollment of girls in technical education. An exclusive progrmme called Jnana Nagara is being enunciated to upgrade higher education in the State to international standards.

A New University is being established in Raichur to promote and encourage higher education in Hyderabad-Karnataka region. Colleges in the districts of Raichur and Yadgir would be brought under the perview of this University.

Towards declaring the State as kerosene free, effective steps are being taken to provide cooking gas connection free of cost to poor families having no such connections. For those who surrender their kerosene entittlement, rechargeble LED lights are proposed to be provided, free of cost, under the Punar Belaku Yojana.

Agriculture has been accorded primacy in ever budget that I have presented so far. I have earmarked a major share of our State’s revenue to Agriculture. This year’s budget is no exception to this trend.

In the budget for the current year, an amount of Rs 40,000 Crore has been alloted for the welfare of all farmers. Agriculture gets Rs 5080 Crore, Horticulture Rs 1091 Crore, Animal Husbandry Rs 2245 Crore, Sericulture Rs 429 Crore, Fishiries Rs 337 Crore, Irrigation Rs 15.929 Crore, Minor Irrigation Rs 2099 Crore, Co-operation Rs 1633 Crore, Power Subsidy Rs 9000 Crore, incentive for Milk Producers Rs 1206 Crore and interest subsidy on loans Rs 800 Crore. The stastics reflect the concern of our Government for the farming community.

Construction of more than 1.6 lakh farm ponds, about 2500 poly houses, distribution of Soil Health cards for 78 lakh farmers, subsidy to the tune of 90 per cent for drip irrigation for the farmers of all category. Coverage of about 13 lakh farmers under agro mechanisation, providing on rent farm equipments to about 6 lakh farmer under Krishi Yantra Dhare Yojana and providing milk producers an incentive amount of Rs 5 per liter are few of our Government’s major farmer-friendly schemes.

For the first time in the country, we have provided loan up to Rs 3 lakh free of interest, loans upto Rs 10 lakh are being distributed at just 3 per cent interest. In the last four years we have not only distributed loan to the tune of Rs 50,010 Crore benefiting 4,55,457 farmers, but also, waived loans amounting to Rs 2359 Crore of about 10.70 lakh farmers.

Our Government concern for the farmers never ceases. Now, with effect from 20-06-2017, crop loans upto Rs 50,000 availed by farmers from co-operative banks have been waived. By this decision loans of 22,27,506 farmers amounting to Rs 8165 Crore have been waived.

The online marketing system introduced in our State to prevent the role of middlemen and to ensure fair and remunerative prices to farmers for their agricultural produced has been hailed all over the country. As many as 157 agricultural produce market committees of the State have been brought under this system which has increased the income of farmers by 38 per cent. Needless to say that this system has been highly appreciated by NITI Aayog.

In the journey towards making the State hut-free and providing Shelter to All, 11.75 lakh houses have been constructed so far. In the current year 7 lakh houses have been sanctioned, of which 6 lakh houses in rural areas and one lakh houses in and around Bengaluru city’s government land and on the land freed from encroachment under Rajiv Awas Yojana are provided to be constructed for the homeless people.

The Karnataka Land Reforms (Amendment) Ordinance has been promulgated to convert 58,000 habitations into revenue villages and the residents their in have been given the property ownership rights. This move is of great significance of revolutionary proportions.

With the Ordinance, residents of Lambani Tandas, Gollarahattis, Nayakanahattis, Vaddarahattis, Kurubarahattis, Mazare Gramas, Haadis, Doddis, Paalyas, Camps, Colonies have been conferred with ownership rights, they were hitherto deprived of.

An amount of Rs 10 Crore has been earmarked this year to provide financial and other necessary support to most talented 1000 young sportspersons under the Karnataka Sahasra Keeda Prathibha Yojana.

Under Yuva Chaitanya Programme 2000 Sports Associations would be provided with sports equipment worth Rs One Lakh each. Two Sports Science Centres, each at a cost of Rs 2 Crore are being established.

Fitness Centre-cum-Gyms of international standards are being set up, each at a cost of Rs 2 Crore in Belagavi, Mysuru, Bengaluru and Udupi.

Building a healthy society is one of the foremost aspirations of freedom. During the last four years, 93 lakh members have been enrolled under Yashaswini Scheme for which Rs 555 Crore has been spent. Among these are 33 lakh Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe members, who have been enrolled free of cost. One Crore members have been provided with free insurance coverage. Further, 31,561 patients with kidney-related disorders have been put under dialysis, 1.6 lakh times.

Infant Mortality Rate has been brought down from 31 to 28 in the State. Similarly, Maternal Mortality Rate has come down from 178 to 133. Super Speciality Hospitals, each at a cost of Rs 25 Crore, are being set up in Davanagere, Ramanagara, Tumakuru, Vijayapura and Kolar to cater to the patients suffering from cancer and heart related ailments.

It is paramount to prevent social and regional imbalances if we truly wish for a meaningful independence. Towards realizing this objective, Our Governemnt has initiated many proactive steps to usher in Kalyana Parva (Era of Welfare) in the State.

For the All round development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, a historic Legislation , The Karnataka Scheduled Castes Sub Plan and Tribal Sub Plan Act, 2013 has been brought into force. Based on their population, allocation of 24.10 per cent has been earmarked for the welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes the budget. During the period from 2013-14 to 2016-17, an amount of Rs 60,350 Crores has been earmarked under this Act.

To remove regional imbalance Rs 2503 Crore has been provided to the development of Hyderabad Karnataka region during the last three years. Various development works worth Rs 1500 Crore have been taken up in the region through the Hyderabad Karnataka Regional Development Board.

A Notification has been issued under the Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurement ( Amendment ) Act, 2013 to reserve 24.10 per cent for contractors belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, who bid for works which are not more than Rs 50 Lakh.

It is a matter of great pride that Karnataka is the only State in the entire country in which all the eligible students belonging to the minorities are being given scholarships. Students, belonging to the minority communities, benefitting from this has increased from 5.5 Lakh to 13.18 Lakh. This is truly a remarkable achievement.

It is heartening to note that the number of students getting scholarships to pursue high education in foreign countries has risen from 20 to 424. These students are being given financial assistance of Rs 20 lakh each.

Hitherto for the last 13 years, only 124 Pre-matric and Post-matric Hostels were run for students belonging to minorities. However, during the last four years, 180 new hostels have commenced benefitting more than 17,900 minority students.

In the next two years, its is proposed to start 200 Maulana Azad Model schools to bring back students of minority communities, who have left schools. These model schools would be established in location of Government Urdu Schools, which have been already closed.

Irrigation is one of the top most priorities of our Government. During the last four years, allocation to the tune of Rs 58,393 Crore has been earmarked for major and medium Irrigation projects creating irrigation capacity in 6,40,925 acres.

During the last year Independence Day address, I had announced providing WIFI to all the Gram Panchayats (GPs), I am glad to inform that by December 2017, 2500 GPs would have WIFI facility. The remaining 3500 GPs will have WIFI by 2018. Thus, Karnataka will become completely WIFI enabled State.

Revised administrative approval has been accorded by the Government for the detailed project report for Yettinahole Project amounting to Rs 12,912.36 Crore.

I am happy to announce that approval has been given to the revised estimate amounting to Rs 12,340 Crore of the Upper Bhadra Project under which micro irrigation method would be adopted to irrigate about 5,57,248 acres in the districts of Chikkamagaluru, Tumakuru, Chitradurga and Davanagere as well as filling 367 minor irrigation tanks and using 29.9 TMC water. A new corporation would be set up for speedy implementatation of both Yettinahole Project and Upper Bhadra Project.

Modernization of age-old 23 dams in the Cauvery Basin has been taken up at a cost of Rs 1587.75 Crore out of which 13 works have been completed. Further, out of 33 Canal Development Works eight works have been completed at a cost of Rs 810.21 Crore and eleven more works amounting to Rs 813.52 Crore are under progress.

Eignteen Major and Medium Irrigation Dams have been taken up at a cost of Rs 425.60 Crore with the joint collaboration of Central Water Commission and World Bank assisted Drip Irrigation Programme. State’s Alamatti and Narayanapura Rejuvenation and Development works have been conferred with Award of Excellence by the Central Water Commission and World Bank in its 9th Review Meeting. It is indeed a well deserved recognition.

In Order to improve public health 9300 water purification units have been established for providing potable drinking water in every village benefiting 1.6 Crore rural people and 190 multi-village drinking water projects at a cost of Rs 1554 Crore have been implemented providing permanent drinking water facility to 40 lakh people in 2539 villages.

We have been striving hard to attain Open Defecation-Free Status for our State and usher-in a cleanliness revolution. During the last four years, the percentage of household having toilets has gone up from 35 to 70. Under Shouchalayakkagi Samara 28 lakh toilets have been constructed. We aim to attain Open Defecation-Free status by the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Effective implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme has in fact mitigated the miseries of rural people brought up on our State by the consecutive droughts. Under this programme 52.7 lakhs household have been given job cards resulting in the creation of 24.8 Crore man days and expenditure of Rs 7056 Crore.

The Culture Policy of the State has been brought into operation which is a glittering feather in our cap justifying the rich heritage of our Kannada Language and Culture. This year the Government is organizing third World Kannada Conference in a befitting manner. We propose to showcase to the world not only our achievements in every sphere of life, but also the exquisite and unique quality of grandeur of our land and language.

Two volumes of different genres of Vachanas penned by Vachanakaras during the Vachana Kranti in the 12th century have been brought-out. Already 32 volumes of Tatwapada, Kannada’s most important literary style have been published and 18 more volumes are being brought out.

Karnataka has always been in the forefront of industrial sector by attracting an investment of Rs 1,54,173 Crore during January to December 2016, Karnataka has occupied the top most position in the country. Projects worth Rs 17,293 Crore have been implemented creating job opportunities for almost 1.6 lakh people. Besides, 1492 projects worth Rs 2.8 Lakh Crore investment are in the pipeline.

Our State is a happy destination for Small and Micro Industries. During the last four years, 1.16 lakh small and small scale and micro industrial units with Rs 22,175 Crore of investment have been registered and 10.3 lakh jobs have been created. Further the new Textile Policy has resulted in an investment of Rs 1918 Crore and jobs for about one lakh people.

Apart from being the IT and Startup capital of India, Bengaluru has emerged as the most dynamic city in the World. The City needs world class infrastructure to match its status as a knowledge and innovation hub.

In the last four years, we have made consistent efforts to build infrastructure of the City and I am glad to say that the results are showing. We have recently dedicated 42.3 kms of first phase of Metro to the Nation.The works of 72 kms of Metro Phase-II is proceeding on a brisk pace and it will be completed by the year 2020.18 Kms of Phase II A is at tendering stage and Phase II B to connect Metro to the Airport has received in principle clearance. We are now planning a phase 3 of Metro which is likely to add another 92 kms to the metro line. Together with all the phases, Bengaluru will have a total metro line of 250 kms by 2022

We have launched a scheme to provide 10,000 litres of water per month, free of charge, for slum dwellers in Bengaluru. This facility would be extended to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes colonies too.

Bangalore has been a city of lakes. Fast pace of growth in the City has resulted in the lakes coming under pressure. Flow of untreated sewage into the lakes is also contributing to the problems of our lakes. BWSSB has taken up projects which when completed in the year 2020, will treat one hundred percent of the city’s sewage. This would go a long way in conserving our lakes.

It is Proposed to bring together the information of Tourism Department and its organization such as Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation, Jungle Lodges and Resorts Limited, Karnataka Exhibition Authority under a Common Portal of integrated Digital Technology platform. Very shortly, under the Puneeta Yatra Yojana pilgrims of various religions would be able to undertake pilgrimage to their religions places in KSTDC buses charging concessional fares.

Our Government firmly believes that economic freedom along with political freedom to the poor is the best way to celebrate Independence day, meaningfully. The prime objective of democracy is that power, wealth and opportunities ought to be equitably distributed to all sections of people. This was Dr B R Ambedkar’s wish. This is the earnest desire of our Government too.

Let us experience freedom. Enjoy freedom. Build a strong India. I wish to extend, again, my warm wishes to you all on the occasion of Independence day.

Jai Hind ! Jai Karnataka !!


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