First Karnataka Cabinet meet gives nod for Schedule Tribe secretariat

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Hours after the new ministers were sworn in, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai got down to business allocating districts to his cabinet colleagues in the light of the recent flooding and the prevailing Covid-19 situation. However, ministerial portfolios will be allotted in about two days’ time. Bommai also said that the task force on Covid-19 will be reconstituted after the portfolios are allotted.

Asked about the delay in allocation of portfolios, Bommai remarked, “In some states, it takes longer, even months. But I went to Delhi and got approval for the cabinet formation in two days.” The CM maintained that the allocation of portfolios among his ministers will be his own decision.The first meeting of the full-fledged Bommai Cabinet on Wednesday also ratified a decision to set up a separate secretariat to oversee the welfare of Scheduled Tribes and effectively implement all projects and programmes. 

Reacting to this, Minister B Sriramulu told TNIE, “It was Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who set a precedent by establishing an exclusive secretariat for the welfare of Schedule Tribes. It was for the first time that an exclusive Secretariat for ST welfare had been set up. Further, this tradition, with a special focus and emphasis on overall development of the community is being carried forward by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

We, in Karnataka, have followed in their footsteps and our Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai made a historic announcement on establishing an exclusive secretariat for the Welfare of STs, which will go a long way in effective planning, monitoring and implementation of initiatives under the Tribal Sub-Plan and overall development of the community in the state. I thank our immediate past CM B S Yediyurappa, who had taken up our request on priority.”

The cabinet also decided that a committee, chaired by the CM, will oversee all programmes that come under the Women and Child Development Department, for better coordination as the schemes now come under different departments.

Many ministers have been allotted districts that they were previously in charge of, presumably to ensure continuity. The CM said it has been done so that the ministers can take charge immediately on Thursday and head to the districts to deal with the twin challenges of floods and Covid-19.

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