1. This is the day India became independent from the rule of the British and it is the most memorable day in our lives.
2. The struggle that was mounted for the independence of the country tells us the story of the great sacrifices made by our freedom fighters. We are enjoying the sweet success of Independence as a result of the fight for freedom made by the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi, architect of the Constitution Dr B.R. Ambedkar and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel among others. On this pious occasion, I bow my head in humility and devotion to the sacrifices made by the freedom fighters.
3. Our aim is to build a ‘KalyanaRajya’ (Welfare state) with the avowed principle of ‘development as the only mantra. While fighting the global pandemic Covid-19, we are taking giant strides towards realizing Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of building a Ram Rajya and will practise Rajadharma in true earnest.
4. There’s a belief that serving people is akin to serving God. You have chosen us to be in office. Realising the responsibility thrust upon us and keeping in mind the welfare of people in these critical times, we have taken many
pro-people decisions. The people of my state have given complete support to the decisions that my government has taken. I am indebted to all of you.
5. Covid-19 is a global pandemic, a global scourge. This has affected not only just the health sector, but continues to affect every single sector. The pace of life that had slowed during the lockdown is slowly recovering now. I, too, was infected by the coronavirus and I have fully recovered. I would like to send a message on this occasion that the people need not worry or be afraid of this infection.
6. The state of Karnataka has always been in the forefront of progressive thoughts and development. That is the primary reason why the state of Karnataka has several firsts to its credit. Our government has made a big contribution towards achieving this goal. In this background, many states in this country look up to us and learn from Karnataka. Thanks to innovative and bold steps, our government has achieved success in many fields.
7. We have been giving a boost to enterpreneurs through the Industrial Facilitation Act, which greatly improves the ease-of-doing business and encourages industrial development in the state. Not just that, we have been encouraging the youth of the state to develop skills. Along with that, rules have been simplified to purchase agricultural land that’s required for industrial purposes. We have created an opportunity for both farmers and industrialists to mutually benefit from the direct purchase of land.
8. We have been executing new plans and projects that will generate employment opportunities across Karnataka, including rural areas. My government has come out with schemes to ensure that the migrant workers who returned from urban clusters to their villages get jobs under the employment guarantee scheme.
9. Unfazed by these challenges, we have taken firm steps towards development. I am sure you have noticed the government’s firm decision and resolve to face the challenges and make progress.
10. The government, which set out with the strong resolve to build a prosperous Karnataka, has faced many challenges and problems. Yet, the government has ensured these have not affected the march towards progress.
11. Besides record rain, floods and drought, the century’s most disruptive and dangerous pandemic, Covid-19, has posed huge challenges. Economic recession, job losses, loss of revenue to the government, and social and economic activities grinding to a halt – the people of the state are in distress on account of this. Our government has implemented many schemes and projects to ensure peace, relief and tranquillity in society and help people see a ray of hope in this hour of gloom. By incorporating the essence of the vachana, ‘work is worship’ in our work culture, we have been striving day in and day out to realise the dream of aphorism, ‘the work of the government is the work of god’.
12. You have been witness to the government’s efforts on a war-footing to manage Covid-19. Ministers’ task force, expert doctors’ task force and officers’ task force have been formed to ensure the situation is successfully managed at the state and district levels.
13. The government has set up dedicated hospitals for the treatment of the infected, fever clinics and Covid care centres in Bengaluru and in all other district headquarters of the state. We have established quarantine facilities to identify and isolate the infected persons.
14.Under Ayushman Bharat scheme, we have distributed Health card to more than 1.31 crore people and offered health coverage to 8.5 lakh beneficiaries at a cost of Rs 1694 crore. The government has taken all possible steps to ensure quality healthcare for its people.
15. We had to declare a lockdown in our bid to prevent spread of infection in the early stages of the outbreak of Covid-19. Because of the lockdown, economic and social activities came to a standstill. After realising from global examples that the lockdown is not the only solution to reduce the spread of coronavirus, we have facilitated the bouncing back of economic activities by following the central government guidelines making it mandatory to wear face mask, washing hands with soap and maintain social distancing.
16. The government has announced a relief package of Rs 3187 crore for the benefit of migrant workers, daily wage workers, farmers, those depending on floriculture, weavers, fishermen, construction workers, hairdressers, dhobis, taxi and auto rickshaw drivers and to help many others in the unorganised sector.
17. I would like to remember and pay a tribute
to all Covid warriors, including the government machinery, private establishments, industrialists and volunteers who have been working relentlessly in these trying times.
18.The Central government has announced insurance facilities to including doctors, health workers, Asha workers, paramedical staff, anganawadi workers, police personnel, civic workers (pourakarmikas) and officers and employees from all departments considering them as Covid warriors. I would like to bring it to your notice that government is providing treatment free of cost if these warriors got infected by Covid, and in case of death Rs 30 lakh compensation will be given to their family. On this momentous occasion of the Independence Day, I would like to recall and place on record all the services, efforts and struggles made by these warriors against
Covid-19. The health warriors have fought this war like the soldiers on the front line.
19. Along with measures and packages announced by the Honourable Prime Minister of the country, Sri Narendra Modiji, the strict measures and packages announced by the state government have successfully reduced the scale of the problems unleashed by the pandemic. If people are not alert or careful, no amount of government action would yield result. Therefore, I make a strong appeal to the people of my state to please wear a face mask, maintain social distancing and follow all the guidelines announced by the government and request for the utmost cooperation with the government in this fight against Covid-19.
20. Amid the pandemic in the state, we have successfully conducted the SSLC exams and the Common Entrance Test. It should be mentioned that candidates, despite testing positive for Covid-19, were allowed to write the examination with special arrangements. It is a matter of pride that the Union government and several other state governments have appreciated the Karnataka model in many areas and have taken several, similar initiatives. The Education Department has been making efforts to see that even rural students can also access the online education which has been rolled out for all students in the state so that the rural students are not left out of the education. Through Vidyagama programme, teachers go to the students’ doorsteps so that no student is denied any learning opportunity.
21.Farmers have been our first and primary concern. Along with the annual Rs 6,000 assistance announced by the Union government under its PradhanMantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojna to all eligible farmers, the state government gives an additional Rs.4000 of which the first instalment of Rs.2,000 has already been released. We are transferring
Rs 1,000-crore in first instalment, to the accounts of about 50 lakh farmers.
22.10 lakh farmers in the state have been given crop loan to the tune of Rs 6,500 crore. For the financial year 2020-21, the government has set a target of disbursing Rs. 14,500 crore worth of crop loan in its resolve to ensure that all eligible farmers get loan.
23. The government has come to the rescue of farmers in distress by buying Rs 3175 crore worth of farm products such as green gram, tur dal, groundnut, chickenpea and copra under the minimum support price programme from 5.82 lakh farmers.
24.The government has made big changes in the
co-operative sector which is the backbone of the agriculture economy. With an objective of allowing farmers to sell their produce at a market of their choice, the government has made changes to the APMC Act. Besides, the market cess that was imposed on produce traded at agriculture marketing yards has been reduced from 1.5% to 0.35%. Due to these two measures, the farmers will get a better price for the produce they grow and they also get higher income.
25. The government has given approval to take up Rs 1,200-crore Atal Bhujala Yojane to improve the sustainable groundwater management by giving strength to community participation. Some 39,073sqkm area spread over 1,199
gram panchayats in 41 taluks of 14 districts will be covered under this programme. Karnataka is the first state in the country to implement this pilot project. The Union government has appreciated this. Also, the World Bank has given a letter of commendation to Karnataka for this initiative.
26. It is the government’s wish and objective to remove regional imbalance and give a boost to the comprehensive development of the state of Karnataka. In this background, the Hyderabad-Karnataka, which enjoys a special status under Article 371 (J) of the Indian Constitution, has been renamed Kalyana Karnataka. This is not merely a change in name. To accelerate the all-round development of this region, we have established the Kalyana Karnataka Human Resources, Agriculture and Cultural Association. This association has been permitted to plan for costing Rs.500 crore programmes in this region.
27.Airports in Bidar and Kalaburagi have commenced operations to encourage industrial activities in this region. Work on setting up an airport in Shivamogga has gathered pace.
The government has given administrative approval to launch work on Karwar and Vijayapura airports.
28. Karnataka Tourism Task Force has been formed to strengthen the tourism sector which has the potential to generate employment on a large scale. Many programmes have been launched for a robust development of the tourism sector.
29. It is the government’s priority to create basic infrastructure, including ensuring potable water in rural areas, waste (garbage) disposal and build good-quality roads which are a testimony to the state’s development. Under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, from April 1 onwards, we have created 7.06 crore man days and paid wages to the tune of Rs 1,856 crore. From 1st April 2020 till now, we have given job cards to 3.73 lakh families. Karnataka has already achieved 53% of its annual target in the first four months of the current financial year.
30. Our government is committed to the welfare and wellbeing of SCs, STs, backward classes and minority communities. The government’s benefits must reach the last person in the society. The government’s objective is to ensure that not even a single person is deprived of access to benefits. We have taken measures to ensure law and order is maintained in the state. Meetings have been held from time to time and we have taken several measures to control crime and cybercrime in the state.
31. We have taken unique and innovative measures to ensure rebooting of the social and organic facilities so that the basic infrastructure in the world-famous Garden City is further improved. The government has a plan to create greenery on either side of the 400km primary canals, besides carving out bicycle and pedestrian trails next to the bund. In the first stage, the historic major canal (Raja Kaaluve) from Dharmanbudhi Lake (where the Kempe Gowda bus stand is located now) to Bellandur lake will be taken up for this project with eco-system, construction of 36km length walking and cycling path and embellish the city’s cultural and social facets in that region.
32. Some 110 acres of land that belongs to NGEF near the Byappanahalli Metro station has been identified and we are designing people-friendly plans here. In this plot, we will grow plants with a wide variety of species with organic diversity. The plans also include setting up of food court, traditional cottage industry, Fun Park for childrens entertainment, and provide space for handloom exhibition and sale.
33.We have accelerated the implementation of suburban rail network for Bangalore, which is a global investment destination. We will take up Phase II of Bangalore Metro at a cost of Rs 30,695 crore and we hope to complete the project by June 2024.
34.As always, Honourable Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi has been offering co-operation, assistance, support and encouragement to the state government in all its endeavours and efforts. The Union government’s Aatmanirbhar Scheme is a ray of hope for all of us. As Modiji said, Karnataka has been taking bold steps to convert every crisis into an opportunity. Our main aim is to encourage local industries, including making of PPE kits and to become self-reliant in solar energy and automobile sectors, among others.
35. The field of agriculture is the first priority for the government. Along with giving priority to locally produced items, the government has resolved to encourage small and medium industries. The employment opportunities for the local people should be enhanced, the import of products should be reduced and self reliance should be increased. The youth of the state and local organisations must join hands to achieve and realise our objective of Aatmanirbhar initiative. It’s my wish that the footprint of Karnataka is etched while building a self-reliant India.
36. We held talks with more than 40 prominent companies during the World Economic Forum summit held in Davos, Switzerland, and rolled out the red carpet seeking investment in Karnataka. Later during Covid-19 too we have approved 101 industrial projects worth Rs.27,000 crore at the state level.
37. Rain fury has started again, and the state is facing flood-like situation. We have given strict instructions to officers to immediately reach out to the families in distress. We have issued orders to immediately give a relief of Rs 10,000 to the affected families and Rs 5 lakh for the construction of the new house if a house is completely damaged. Under disaster relief fund, we have issued instructions to give immediate and appropriate relief to the affected families. 11 districts including Kodagu, coastal areas and parts of North Karnataka, are flood-hit and we are committed to ensuring the safety of people and animals. Total grant amount of about Rs.984 crore is available in the District Commissioner’s accounts. District In-charge Ministers are camping in their respective districts, overseeing review and relief operations. Under the leadership of the Chief Secretary to the government, district officers and other department officers have been working round the clock to come to the rescue of those affected by the floods. I have been responding to the people’s problems by seeking information on the situation on the hour.
38.In this very month last year, Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a historic decision by kicking off the process of development of Jammu and Kashmir. On the same day
(August 5) this year, he has taken another historic step by laying the foundation stone for building a temple for Lord Ram in Ayodhya. This moment of great celebration has been made possible by the bold and historic decision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We will build a Yatrinivas in Ayodhya for devotees from Karnataka who travel to Ayodhya.
39.In accordance with the saying ‘welfare for all’ (Sarve Jana Sukhino Bhavanthu), it’s our resolve to be on the path of progress always. I seek co-operation from all of you as we continue our journey towards a great future, overcoming the challenges that we face now.
40. I make a strong and sincere request to all of you to make honest efforts to help Karnataka make significant contribution in the country’s progress and also help make India a lodestar in the world. I once again wish all of you a memorable Independence Day.
Jai Hind! Jai Karnataka!!