'No pending dues from Centre to Karnataka': Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addressed allegations of pending dues from the central government to Karnataka, asserting that the state has no outstanding payments. Speaking at the inauguration of the Janaushadhi Center in Bengaluru, she emphasized that the central government is awaiting an official communication from the Karnataka state government regarding any financial matters.
Sitharaman responded to claims made by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and the state's agriculture and revenue ministers, suggesting that they can address their concerns by writing to the central government. The Finance Minister noted that such allegations often surface on social media before the official correspondence reaches her, citing a similar situation in Kerala.
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Denying any pending arrears, Nirmala Sitharaman, who also represents Karnataka as a Member of Parliament, emphasized the necessity of an official letter from the state government. She questioned the feasibility of sending funds without the required signatures from the Accountant General, highlighting the procedural aspect of financial transactions.
Sitharaman clarified that Karnataka has received all due funds, and any delays or discrepancies would be addressed through appropriate channels. She mentioned the existence of committees, including one for the release of National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) funds, and assured that the Union Home Minister would oversee the process.
Addressing concerns about relief funds, Sitharaman stated that a central team had assessed the situation, provided a report, and that the high power committee would determine the next steps. She expressed confidence that once the committee decides, the relief funds would be released promptly.
Touching on agricultural matters, Sitharaman discussed the issuance of instructions for the purchase of crops in North Karnataka, aiming to provide financial support to farmers. She acknowledged the role of Union Home Minister Amit Shah in overseeing high-level meetings and discussions.
Concluding her remarks, Sitharaman highlighted the successful inauguration of 10,000 Janaushadhi Centers by Prime Minister Narendra Modi , emphasizing their positive impact on providing affordable healthcare to the masses. The Finance Minister encouraged the residents of Bengaluru to utilize these centers, thereby saving money that could be allocated to essential needs like education.