Karnataka Cabinet approves policy to encourage farmers to take up sandalwood cultivation, marketing


The State Cabinet on Thursday adopted the sandalwood policy that would liberate the marketing of sandalwood from government control and encourage farmers to take to sandalwood cultivation.

Briefing media persons after the Cabinet meeting, Health and Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar said the new policy also envisages measures to provide protection to sandalwood farms. “We will use technology to provide protection to farms like installing microchips that can help detect theft,” the Minister said.

The main intention is to help increase the income of farmers, he said, while pointing out that there was a severe shortage of sandalwood in the State as well as the country. Karnataka is one of the major sandalwood growing regions in the country.

Transfer of spouses

The Cabinet also decided to bring about changes in the norms to allow inter-district transfer of spouses for ‘C’ and ‘D’ grade government employees after putting in certain years of service at a particular place. The Minister said different departments had prescribed their own minimum service period for the employees to become eligible for such transfers.

The Cabinet gave administrative clearance for upgrading 43 primary health centres into community health centres. Of them, upgrading of 38 PHCs would cost ₹397 crore, the Minister said.

Hospital at Tumakuru

It gave administrative approval for setting up a critical care hospital with a 100-bed capacity at the premises of the district hospital in Tumakuru at a cost of ₹56 crore under the PM-Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission, he said. The hospital was recently in the news for turning away a woman in labour, resulting in her death and also of the newborns.

New sanctuaries

The Minister said the Cabinet approved a proposal by the Karnataka State Wildlife Board to provide sanctuary status to Huture Gudda (wildlife), Bankapura (wildlife), Arsikere (bear sanctuary), Hiresulikere (bear sanctuary), and Chikkasangama, Mundigekere and Bonala (bird sanctuaries).

Meanwhile, the Cabinet also gave administrative approval for taking up works related to the piped water supply to various villages under Jal Jivan Mission in eight districts, including Ballari, Uttara Kannada, Bidar, Bagalkot, Belagavi, and Shivamogga at a cost of ₹600 crore, he said.

The Cabinet also cleared a proposal for constructing VIP dormitories near Srikanteshwara temple in Nanjangud of Mysuru district at a cost of ₹16.52 crore, the Minister said.

Winter session from December 19 to 30 in Belagavi

The winter session of the State legislature will be held in Belagavi from December 19 to 30. A decision to this effect was taken at the State Cabinet meeting on Thursday.

Generally, the winter session used to be held before Christmas. However, the session is now being held in the middle of the Christmas season. The ongoing Jana Samparka Yatre of the ruling BJP is being attributed as the reason for the session being pushed till Christmas.

RGUHS in Ramanagaram confirmed

It is now clear that the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) will be established in Ramanagaram only as decided earlier. The State Cabinet on Thursday decided to set up the university campus and a medical college at Archakarahalli of Ramanagaram.

Health and Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar said: “Our government has expressed its commitment to set up the university in Ramanagaram through the Cabinet decision.”

The works related to setting up the university would be taken up by the Engineering Division of the Health and Family Welfare Department, the Minister said.


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