Thursday, Oct 09, 2003
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By Nagesh Prabhu
However, the visit of the Chief Minister and his Cabinet colleagues to Arasinakunte and Batwada in Tumkur district had all the trappings of an election rally. Banners, buntings, arches bedecked with flowers and villagers lining up on Tumkur Road made it look like the Chief Minister was on an election tour. Local party leaders were seen holding bouquets to welcome him.
The Chief Minister left Bangalore at 9.15 a.m. and addressed the first public meeting of the tour at Arasinakunte in Nelamangala taluk. The Government would announce measures in the next Budget to regulate online lottery, Mr. Krishna said.
The Government had launched online lottery to mobilise resources for the mid-day meal scheme. But in view of the public criticism, it would take steps to regulate it, he promised. He, however, stressed the need for creating awareness among the people about the ill-effects of liquor consumption and lottery.
Mr. Krishna said the Government had adopted a strategy to tackle three basic problems drinking water, health, and education in villages. For the mid-day meal scheme, the Government was spending Rs. 300 crores.
Noting that there was corruption at all levels of governance, he said departments were being computerised to tackle this problem. The Government had suspended three officials at the sub-registrar's office at Yelahanka in Bangalore.
Referring to the demands of the people of Arasinakunte, he said the Government was committed to ensure the development of the State. But at times implementation of works was delayed due to various reasons.
With the implementation of administrative and financial reforms, revenue had increased. Revenue from commercial taxes had increased by 17 per cent. The collection of commercial taxes in September 2003 was Rs. 630 crores against Rs. 519 crores in September 2002, he said.
Criticising the Opposition, he said the previous Government had provided houses to only four lakh people. But his Government had constructed seven lakh houses for the needy. On the party's preparation for the election, he said: "We are ready to face elections any time. Till January next, the Government will focus on development programmes".
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