Days after imposing hefty penalties, the Karnataka government on Wednesday reduced the fine on people not wearing masks from Rs 1,000 to Rs 250 in urban areas and from Rs 500 to Rs 100 in rural parts of the state.
The government had come under sharp criticism from various quarters not only for the exorbitant penalty amount but also policemen reportedly going on a fine collection spree at public places.
"In its recent order the government had fixed a fine of Rs 1000 in the urban areas and Rs 500 in the rural areas on those not wearing the masks," Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said in a press release.
"Against the background of the public outrage and experts' opinion, it has been decided to reduce the fine from Rs 1,000 to Rs 250 in the urban areas and from Rs 500 to Rs 100 in the rural areas," he added.
Yediyurappa maintained that ever since the outbreak of COVID-19 the government had initiated several measures including lockdown, mandatory wearing of masks and usage of sanitisers.
Since there is no vaccine for coronavirus, masks, sanitisers and social distancing is the only way to contain the spread of the disease, he added.
The state government had announced the hefty fine under its fresh norms for 'reopening' effective from October 1 as part of enforcing wearing mask in public and workplaces.
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