ANI Photo | Karnataka: BJP’s Basavaraj Bommai slams CM Siddaramaiah over the state budget

Former Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai opined that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who also holds the Finance portfolio, not only presented his 15th budget without focusing on development issues but also spending it on welfare schemes in the name of guarantees.
Speaking on the state budget in the State Legislative Assembly here, Bommai said that all of them were waiting to see how the CM would manage the 15th Budget.
“The CM had said that the previous government had given impetus to food security and the incumbent government too had given equal importance for the food security. The central government had been giving five kg of rice free of cost. The rice the people of Karnataka were getting had been given by the union government,” he said.
“The former CM said there was a lot of difference between Siddaramaiah-1 and Siddaramaiah 2.0. In 1994, he was the finance minister, and it was the deficit budget. At that time, he decreased the plan size, presented the budget, and brought in financial discipline. But, Siddaramaiah 2.0 should have mobilised resources for the welfare schemes and implemented five guarantees without affecting the capital expenditure,” he added.
The BJP leader further said that Siddaramaiah claimed of collecting Rs 1.75 lakh crore last year but the actual collection was Rs 1.61 lakh crore through taxes.
“That means, there was a short fall of Rs 14000 crore in capital revenue. The previous BJP government had set a target of Rs 1.64 lakh crore from various taxes but they could not mobilise that much of resources. The present government has set a target of Rs 1.89 lakh crore tax collection, but there was no income at all. How was it possible to develop the state if the state finance was handled in such a manner?” Bommai asked.
The former CM of Karnataka pointed out that only 56 per cent of the money allocated to departments had been spent.
“The BJP government had earmarked Rs 19000 crore for irrigation as against Rs 16000 crore by the present government. Each MLA was given a grant of Rs 2 crore but is now hardly given Rs 35 lakh for each of them. They had given Rs 25 crore for each legislator. The Congress government has hiked the loan limit to 2.9 per cent but it would cross three per cent next time. The finance management has been very bad and unable to ensure social justice. The government must show its clarity on the pension scheme for the state government employees and whether the CM is ready to implement the OPS?” he said.
Bommai said the state government was blaming the central government over the release of funds to cover up its mistakes. The state’s financial position was very precarious, and the government would be blamed if something went wrong in the coming days

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