Guru Prasad R
Seeking suitable assistance from the Union Government to tackle several important issues faced by the State including the drought situation, an all party delegation led by Karnataka CM DV Sadananda Gowda met Prime Minister, Union Agriculture Minister and Union Finance Minister on May 2 in New Delhi.
In the meeting, the Chief Minister had a detailed discussion with the Members of the Parliament from Karnataka, about the strategy to be adopted while appraising the Centre about the drought situation and the amount of relief to be sought. Union Ministers representing Karnataka, the Opposition leaders in Karnataka Legislative Assembly and Council and also Members of the Parliament gave useful suggestions.
The delegation called on Hon’ble Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee and Agriculture Minister Shri Sharad Pawar and submitted the memorandum. It is learnt that the Prime Minister and other ministers have responded positively to the request made by the delegation and promised to look into the issues on a priority basis.
Drought situation in Karnataka and the need for additional assistance to tackle it; Enhancement of customs duty on silk yarn from 5 per cent to 30 per cent to protect sericulturists as well as silk reelers, and bringing amendment to Article 371 ‘D’ to confer special status to 6 districts of Hyderabad and Karnataka region were the main issues to seek Centre’s nod. Support for tur, pomegranate, potato, arecanut, paddy, turmeric and ginger growers; allotment of coal blocks for power projects and providing transmission corridor for availing power by Karnataka from eastern, western and northern regions, were the other requests made by the delegation.
The delegation also met Agricultural Minister Shri Sharad Pawar and discussed about the issues related to agriculture, horticulture and sericulture. Sharad Pawar promised to send a team of officials to Karnataka immediately with a direction to submit a report on the situation within a week’s time and additional relief will be released after receiving the report.