eNarada, Bengaluru, Thursday, February 22, 2018
It may no longer be easier for petrol bunks to escape from the clutches of the state government as the latter has decided to tighten its grip. Food and Civil Supplies Minister UT Khader has said that they have decided to make it mandatory to seek state’s permission to open a new LPG or petrol bunks.
To increase their control on the petrol pumps, state government is planning to amend the essential commodities act which would make it mandatory for all the pumps to seek the permission. Currently, the petrol dealers are operating after obtaining permission from centre government and a trade license from the local bodies.
Call it an election gimmick or a real concern for the Below Poverty Line (BPL) families-the state government has decided to provide on the spot BPL cards. Food and Civil Supplies Minister UT Khader said that the on the spot BPL cards would help the beneficiaries to get their cards instantly and also to do away with the middlemen.
To procure an instant card, any member of a family (whose annual income is lesser than Rs 1.2 lakh per annum) has to apply for a ration card. They need to provide a copy of the application along with an income certificate proof to the local food inspector. The inspector would issue the BPL card on the spot and verification will be done later. For the purpose, food inspectors have been equipped with a laptop and colour printer.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah inaugurated Anila Bhagya (free LPG scheme) on February 20. The scheme is similar to Ujjwala, the central government LPG scheme, but the state government has decided to reach a larger number of beneficiaries. The Ujjwala scheme has a target of 10 lakh in Karnataka, while the state government, through the nodal food and civil supplies department will reach a targeted 30 lakh beneficiaries. In the first phase, only SC/ST, forest dwellers and construction workers will be entitled for it. Already, 10 lakh beneficiaries have been selected and letters from the Chief Minister has already reached them. The scheme will be rolled out over the next few days. The beneficiaries have been identified by three departments – Labour Department for construction workers, by Social Welfare Department for those identified by it and the food and civil supplies department.
The cost per household LPG kit has been pegged at Rs 4,040 by the government which will entitle each to a gas stove, gas lighter, regulator and an LPG connection. Two cylinders – one at the time of receiving the connection and one refill will be given free of cost. Beneficiaries have to pay for any extra cylinders booked after the first two. Applications will be received in Gram Panchayats in rural areas and AJSK & K1 centres in urban areas. An application fee is Rs 50 per head.