Karnataka CM Presents Surplus Budget, Congress Dubs it Jumla Budget

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BENGALURU — Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai presented his second and last budget of the ruling BJP government on Friday at the state legislature ahead of assembly polls in the state.

Bommai, encouraged by a vibrant economy, presented a revenue surplus budget, with the outlay crossing Rs 3 lakh crore mark.

However, Randeep Singh Surjewala, Karnataka Congress in-charge, ridiculed Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai as ‘Lier in Chief’ and dubbed it as a ‘Jumla’ budget.

Bommai proposed a revenue surplus of Rs 402 crore and broke the deficit budgets for the last two consecutive years. He described it as a budget for the voiceless which focuses on farmers, working class, poor and women.

The budget size is pegged at Rs 3,09,182 crore, up from Rs 2,65,720 crore in 2022-23. The fiscal deficit has been reined at Rs 60,581 crore. The borrowings accounted for Rs 77,750 crore, taking the liabilities at the end of 2023-24 to about Rs 5,64,896.

Bommai stated that the state had recorded the growth rate of 7.9 per cent. When compared to last financial year, service sector has recorded 9.2 per cent and industry sector 5.1 per cent growth in 2022-23.

“The per capital income has grown from Rs 2.04 lakh to Rs 3.32 lakh in last four years. The tax collection has increased to 21 per cent till the end of January when compared to 2021-22,” he said.

The share of the central government from the direct and indirect taxes has increased by Rs 4,813 crore.

The government has announced Rs 1,000 crore funds for Bengaluru Sub Urban Railway Project (BSRP). The central government is providing Rs 1,350 crore this year for the project. The state government and railway ministry are providing Rs 15,767 crore for the implementation of the project in the budget.

Some of the other highlights included, Yoga training in all Women’s First Grade Colleges of the state to enhance girl students’ physical capabilities and confidence.

Under new ‘Mukhyamanthri Vidya Shakthi’ scheme, the fee has been waived off for all students who take admissions in government pre-university and graduation courses. Nearly 8 lakh students are going to benefit from this scheme.

The graduates who are unemployed after three years of completion of course will get Rs 2,000 one-time financial aid under ‘Yuva Snehi’ scheme.

The farmers with ‘Kisan Card’ will get Rs 10,000 additional subsidy. The loan amount without interest limit is increased from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 5 lakh.

The government aims to provide Rs 25,000 crore loans to more than 30 lakh farmers. Chief Minister Bommai also announced a grand Lord Ram temple at Ramadevera Betta in Ramnagar district.

Bommai took 2.40 hours to read out the state budget, following which the House was adjourned to Monday. — IANS

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