'Indira Gandhi Brought Concept Of Free Houses For The Poor'


(MENAFN- IANS) Bengaluru, March 3 (IANS) Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar on Saturday said that food, housing, health and education are the primary focus areas of the state government.

He said this while speaking at a programme for the distribution of 36,789 houses built under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana across the state.

The programme was organised by the Karnataka Slum Development Board. Speaking at the event, he said: "It was late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who brought the concept of free houses for the poor in the country. The Housing Department has given an additional grant of Rs 5 lakh as many people expressed inability to pay the amount under the Rajiv Gandhi Housing Scheme.

"While we are giving all the support, the BJP government in the Centre has levied GST on houses for the poor. How can the poor pay a GST of Rs 1.26 lakh? Our government has decided to end slums in the cities and hence, we have continued urban housing projects in this budget too. It was the Congress which started the schemes to give rice, land and houses to the poor," he added.

Shivakumar, who is also the president of Congress' Karnataka unit, said: "Let the BJP and JD-S say whatever they want, we will continue with our welfare schemes including giving free houses. Housing Minister B.Z. Zameer Ahmed Khan is working hard to help the poor. I wish all the best for all the beneficiaries who are moving into new homes today."

Under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Scheme, the Karnataka Slum Development Board is building 1,80,253 houses at a cost of Rs 6,170 crore.

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