Legislative Council chairman DH Shankaramurthy has denied rumours that legislators would be given gold coins and silver gifts to mark the diamond jubilee of Vidhana Soudha. Instead, a memento has been proposed at Rs 3 crore and if the government disapproves, even that will be dropped he said, reports Kannada Prabha.
Speaking to newspersons, Shankarmurthy clarified that the rumour of giving gold coin and silver plates is all the handiwork of miscreants. A proposal has been submitted for grand celebration. If it is approved fine, if not we will celebrate in whatever funds that is approved, he said. In 2006, during the golden jubilee gifts were given to legislators at a cost of Rs 2.47 crore. After 11 years now Rs three crore has been proposed for gifts to all present and past legislators, MPs, officials and staff numbering a total of 2,500. If that is being opposed, let the government take a decision, he said.
The details of the expenses proposed, which the speaker’s office did not want to share, has finally been revealed. While the memento has been allotted at Rs 3 cr, expenses for documentary film and cultural programmes total up to Rs 6.5 crore. Besides, stage, lighting, LED video wall cost Rs 3.5 crore and food, beverages for two days are budgeted at Rs 4.10 crore. Apart from that Rs 26.87 cr for the programme additional Rs 1.5 cr has been allotted for TA/ DA of legislators to travel from outside the capital.
The details of proposed budget are:
Flower decoration of Vidhana Soudha and other areas Rs 75 lakh, Beverages for MLAs, MPs, media persons, officers etc Rs 35 lakh, food for 10,000 including VIPs, officers, police, media persons Rs 3.75 crore, stage, lighting, sound, LED video wall, generator Rs 3.50 crore, cultural programme artists fee travel Rs 50 lakh, Grammy Award winner Ricky Cage free of cost, documentary on legislature directed by TN Seetharam Rs 1.58 cr, documentary on Vidhana Soudha construction by Girish Kasaravalli Rs 1 cr, Vidhana Soudha in 3D stereoscope by Master Kishan Rs 1.02 cr, felicitation to families of Kengal Hanumanthaiah, KC Reddy, Kadidala Manjappa, senior legislator life-time achievement award Rs 10 lakh, 3D mapping of government’s achievement Rs 3.04 cr, publicity, invitations, arches, welcome board, media ads, hoardings Rs 2 cr, 2,400 current and past legislators, MPs mementos Rs 3 cr, photo shoot of all 300 legislators and framed photo to each, video and photo of programme Rs 75 lakhs, housekeeping, transport human resources Rs 50 lakhs, GST Rs 5 cr, total of Rs 26.87 crore.
Meanwhile, MLAs Basavaraja Horatti, Maritibbe Gowda, Puttanna, KT Srikantegwoda and Sharanappa Mattooru have expressed strong objection to giving gold coin and silver plates as gifts. The State is reeling under floods and drought. It is not appropriate to celebrate by giving such lavish gifts. We will not accept it, they said. The same funds could be utilised for drought and flood relief.
Congress MLA KN Rajanna supported giving the gold coin stating it will be a memento for keep sake for the next generation. Minister MR Seetharam said instead of gold coin silver coin could be given, he suggested.