Lockdown in Karnataka extended till June 14; Rs 500 crore relief package announced

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(Eds: Adds details) Bengaluru, Jun 3 (PTI) The lockdown slated to end on June 7 was extended till June 14 in Karnataka as Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Thursday announced a Rs 500 crore second relief package.

The relief was meant for sections, which were left out in the previous package of Rs 1,250 crore.

'We had earlier announced stringent restrictions from May 24 to June 7 to contain the spread of Coronavirus, Though the infections have reduced, the spread of the disease is still on,' Yediyurappa said.

The decision to extend the restrictions by a week was taken following the recommendation of experts, he said.

The lockdown-like restrictions have been in effect since April 27.

From May 10, the Chief Minister announced a lockdown till May 24 morning. However, it was further extended till June 7.

The second COVID relief package of Rs 500 crore would encompass teachers, 'ASHA' and Anganwadi workers, fishermen, workers in film industry, temple priests, Muezzins in mosques and powerloom workers.

The relief package would benefit over 62.50 lakh people, the Chief Minister said.

According to Yediyurappa, Rs 100 crore has been earmarked for purchasing milk to sustain those who are in the dairy business and have been hit by decrease in the demand.

The milk would be processed into milk powder and half kilogram of it would be supplied to each school child along with their regular foodkit in June and July.

Teachers working in unaided private schools would get Rs 5,000 each, which would cost the state exchequer Rs 100 crore.

A sum of Rs 35 crore has been reserved for 59,000 powerloom workers who would get Rs 3,000 each, the Chief Minister said.

He added that each of the 22,000 unorganised workers in film industry and television medium would get Rs 3,000 for whom Rs 6.6 crore has been earmarked.

Temple priests serving in the 'C' category of temples under the Muzrai department, Imams and Muezzins in mosques and ASHA workers would also get Rs 3,000 each, Yediyurappa said.

He said Rs 24.7 crore has been earmarked for Anganwadi workers who would get Rs 2,000 each.

The government also exempted the medium, small and micro enterprises from the fixed electricity charge which would cost Rs 114.7 crore to the government.

BJP Karnataka unit chief and Dakshina Kannada MP, Nalin Kumar Kateel welcomed the second package announced by the Chief Minister.

To a query, the Chief Minister said already the disbursement of relief packages to various sections, as announced earlier, is on.

'Almost 70 per cent of people have started receiving the benefits of the previous package. Within two days, we will start disbursing the second relief package to the beneficiaries.We will make a sincere effort to give the benefits to people within a week,' Yediyurappa told reporters.PTI GMS RS BN BALA BN BALA

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