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Karnataka’s Budget passed amidst din in Assembly

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on March 24, 2021

Yediyurappa defends borrowings, Siddaramaiah says state will become bankrupt under BJP’s rule

“Other than borrowing, how can the government revive the economy? Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa questioned the Opposition parties.

Yediyurappa, reading out a statement in his reply on the Budget presentation, said, "When governments in the past have raised loans in times of prosperity, how can we take up development works without borrowing money when Karnataka is facing adverse conditions due to the pandemic and floods.”

Karnataka’s Budget for financial year 2021-22 was passed amidst din in the legislative assembly on Wednesday. In the 2021-22 financial year, Karnataka plans to borrow around ₹71,642 crore. In the previous year 2020-21, the state had borrowed ₹70,671 crore.

Karnataka Opposition leader in the state Assembly, Siddaramaiah, criticised the state government’s borrowing plan.

Addressing reporters, he said “Out of ₹70,000 plus crore loan raised this year, ₹20,000 crore is used to fund revenue deficit. This leads the Karnataka government towards bankruptcy. Why has the chief minister failed to answer about this in the assembly? This is the first time the government has presented a revenue deficit budget in the state.”

“Committed expenditure was just 74-78 per cent during our term. This is now 102 per cent. The Chief Minister has failed to discuss in his speech about the measures he will take to reduce the committed expenditure,” he added.

“BJP government has failed to answer comprehensively our questions about the Budget. He has hurriedly submitted a 24-page reply which is just a failed attempt to cover up their miserable Budget. Our many questions are left unanswered,” said the former chief minister.

“We had alleged that the Karnataka government will become bankrupt under BJP’s rule, but there is no reply to counter this. Chief minister has accepted that committed expenditure will be 102 percent. Government will have to borrow even to pay salaries,” he criticised.

As per the revised revenue deficit for 2020-21 is ₹19,485 crore. “It will be ₹15,133 crore in 2021-22. According to my estimates, it may cross ₹20,000 crore. Medium-term fiscal plan has an estimated revenue deficit of ₹57,993 crore for 2024-25. It is increasing each year,” he said.

Siddaramaiah said “Chief minister and BJP party told that Anna Bhagya, electricity subsidy to farmers, ksheera dhare and similar programs are the reasons for increased committed expenditure. All these programs were implemented during our term as well but why is there a problem only now?”

Taking a dig at the centre, Siddaramaiah said “Karnataka has not received ₹8,538 crore from Central government’s tax share and ₹1,310 crore from Central government's grant-in-aid. We did not get special grants of ₹5,495 crore special grants as recommended by 15th Finance commission. Karnataka sent 25 BJP MPs and they have failed to raise this issue.”

“BJP had promised double engine growth if BJP comes to power in both State and Centre. They had lied about creating heaven. But now both the engines are going in the reverse direction. Yediyurappa has failed to answer comprehensively our questions about the budget. He has hurriedly submitted a 24-page reply which is just a failed attempt to cover up their miserable budget. Our many questions are left unanswered.

Published on March 24, 2021

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