BENGALURU: Less than a week after announcing an economic relief package of Rs 1,610 crore, the Karnataka Cabinet on Thursday decided to raise the compensation by an additional Rs 162 crore to cover more people. Given the heavy losses incurred by horticulture farmers and weavers due to the fall in demand and breakdown in transportation during the Covid-19 lockdown, the State announced compensation of Rs 15,000 per hectare for horticulturists and extended the Rs 2,000 assistance to powerloom workers as well.
These measures are estimated to cost Rs 162 crore in addition to the earlier relief announced, taking the size of the relief package to Rs 1,772 crore. “We had earlier announced compensation of Rs 25,000 per hectare for floriculture farmers and today, the cabinet has decided to provide Rs 15,000 per hectare to horticulture farmers. Commercial crops like coffee, copra, etc., are not included under the scheme. This is only for fruits and vegetable farmers,” said Parliamentary Affairs Minister J C Madhuswamy.
He added that much like the announcement for floriculturists, the compensation for horticulture farmers will be limited to one hectare. The State Government has estimated that fruits grown in 41,054 hectares and vegetables grown in 50,083 hectares were badly affected due to the lockdown. A total of Rs 137 crore has been set aside towards providing compensation to the growers. The State has also decided to extend its ‘Nekarara Sammana Yojane’ of Rs 2,000 assistance, which was earlier limited to handloom workers, to powerloom workers as well.
Money will go to accounts
Those employed in 1.25 lakh powerlooms are expected to benefit from the Nekarara Sammana Yojane, wherein Rs 2,000 will be transferred to their bank accounts. This scheme will cost Rs 25 crore. “The second tranche of the package is beneficial to migrant workers, street vendors, small farmers and other such oppressed communities. Fixing of uniform minimum wages will largely benefit migrant workers while free ration, fixed house rent, etc., will make them feel secure,” the Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said.