Karnataka CM extends lockdown by week, gives Rs 500cr in 2nd aid package | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: The Karnataka government on Thursday extended the statewide lockdown — which was to end on June 7 — till 6am on June 14 and announced a second relief package of Rs 500 crore that will directly benefit more than 60 lakh workers in unorganized sectors with one-time financial assistance.
TOI, in its Thursday edition, reported the government would extend the lockdown by a week and unveil a second tranche of relief package. All existing restrictions on economic activities, movement of people and vehicles will continue till mid-June.

Explaining the reason behind the decision, chief minister BS Yediyurappa said the number of active Covid cases and fresh infections has come down significantly, but the transmission chain has not been broken yet in many places.
Only export-oriented industries have been allowed to operate with 30% of the staff strength. The state has been under lockdown since May 10. It has proved to be effective as the daily Covid caseload has dropped from over 50,000 on May 5 to around 16,000 on June 2.
The relief package of Rs 500 crore would benefit teachers of private unaided schools, weavers, fishermen, Asha and anganwadi workers, fishermen, workers in film industry, temple priests, muezzins and powerloom workers. The relief package would help 62.5 lakh people, Yediyurappa said.
Govt school kids to get 500gm milk powder for May & June
The relief was meant for sections of the workers left out of the previous package of Rs 1,250 crore announced two weeks ago.
Yediyurappa said the lockdown would be lifted “completely to allow all activities to resume after June14” if the Covid positivity rate falls below 5% across the state. “We have no intention to continue with the lockdown provided people follow the lockdown guidelines strictly and help contain the spread of the pandemic,” he said.
The government has decided to provide 500gm of milk powder to government school students for May and June.
Micro, small and medium industries received relief with the government writing off monthly fixed charges levied on them for May and June. Other industries have been given time till July 30 to pay the fixed charges. About 3 lakh industries will benefit from this measure, the CM said.
The CM claimed disbursement of cash assistance announced for 70% of autorickshaw, taxi drivers and workers in unorganised sectors in the first package will start soon. Workers coming under the second package will get relief in 2-3 days.
The Karnataka Small-Scale Industries Association, welcoming the decision to exempt MSME from payment of fixed charges on power for May and June and concession of Rs 3,000 for powerloom workers, said the government should have done much more for the sector.
Rahul B Goyal, secretary of Karnataka Hardware and Allied Merchants’ Association, said: “The government did not provide us relief last year and this year too. We are unable to pay salaries, rents, and meet other expenses. If we do not pay salaries to our employees, we are under scrutiny from the labour department. However, we have been doing our bit by supplying free food to coolies and others in our areas despite no income.”

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Sagar Biswas

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