Karnataka’s Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah, has announced that his government will take necessary actions to increase pensions for senior citizens in the upcoming state budget.
He mentioned that they will seriously consider the request made by his cabinet colleague, Lakshmi Hebbalkar, to provide a monthly pension of Rs 2,000 to the elderly. A final decision on this matter will be made during the next budget deliberations. Currently, eligible elderly individuals in the state receive a monthly pension of Rs 1,000.
Speaking at an event to honor senior citizens who received state awards in various fields, Siddaramaiah emphasized the importance of respecting and adopting the values of elders. He expressed the sentiment that living a meaningful life is a valuable aspect of their existence.
In July, Siddaramaiah, who also serves as the finance minister, presented the state budget for the fiscal year 2023-24. The Congress government, which recently came to power in Karnataka, significantly increased the budget size from Rs 265,720 crore in 2022-23 to Rs 327,747 crore in 2023-24, marking a substantial increase of Rs 62,027 crore, equivalent to a growth rate of 23 percent.
Siddaramaiah’s latest budget presentation was his seventh as Chief Minister, having previously presented six budgets during his tenure as Karnataka’s Chief Minister from 2013 to 2018. The state government referred to this budget as their ‘Guarantee Budget’ and stated that it fulfills all five key promises made to the people before the assembly polls. To implement these pre-poll promises, a total of Rs 35,410 crore has been allocated in the budget.
The Congress party’s five “guarantees” outlined in their manifesto included providing 200 units of free power to all, offering Rs 2,000 in monthly assistance to the female head of each family, distributing 10 kg of free rice to all members of below-poverty-line (BPL) families, granting Rs 3,000 every month to graduate youth, providing Rs 1,500 for diploma holders (aged 18-25) for two years, and allowing free travel for women in government buses.
In the May 10 elections, the Congress party secured 135 seats in the 224-member Karnataka Assembly, leading to the ousting of the previously ruling BJP, which won 66 seats, while the Janata Dal (Secular) secured 19 seats.