Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], October 16 (ANI): Karnataka Assembly Speaker K.B. Koliwada on Monday refuted reports of a proposal of distributing gold coins and silver plates to MLAs and MLCs being passed by him.
According to reports, to mark 50 years of celebrations of the Vidhan Sabha building on October 25, the Karnataka Government had forwarded a Rs. 26.87-crore proposal to the state Finance Minister that sought allocation of funds for various purposes. But what has drawn attention to the proposal is its enlisted 14th point (page 3) which mentions that Rs. 3 crore will be spent on gifts to be distributed to state legislators.
It was also said Siddaramaiah-led Karnataka Government proposed gold biscuits and silver gifts for the state legislators as gift.
Denying the news of any such proposal Koliwada said, "I assure you there is no proposal for distribution of gold coins and silver plates to MLAs. How it has appeared in the news, I do not know."
However, he added, "There is a different proposal of Rs. 26 crore in which 19 items are listed and it has been sent to the finance ministry for approval."
The news of such proposal gaining air holds importance at this point of time as the Karnataka Government has been facing sharp criticism over the alleged tardy progress on improving the condition of roads in rain-hit Benagaluru.
More than ten people have been reportedly dead in the city's worst rain-fed flooding in a century.
Out of the reported deaths, many have been allegedly killed while negotiating potholes and other rain-related incidents.
All the accidents have happened on arterial roads, including a state highway.
Defending the Karnataka government over spending such big amount now, the Speaker said, "The proposal has not only been decided by the Speaker, but Chairman of the Council and all secretariate people and some important MLAs. And it is just a proposal to the finance department and not a final decision."
Former Karnataka Minister Nagraj Shetty has also criticised the government over distribution of expensive gifts to legislators and said, "Today the entire state is suffering from various problems, so the first priority of the government is to take care of the public of the state. That is why it was elected."
The proposal by the state government allegedly includes following points:
-Rs. 75 lakh for the flower decoration of the state assembly
-Rs. 35 lakh for coffee and tea for the legislatures
-Rs. 375 lakh for food.
-Budget for making of three documentaries on the Vidhan Sabha
-Rs. 3 crore for special documentary on the chief ministers' achievements. (ANI)