Budget met expectations of state, says CM; Cong counters
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president DK Shivakumar said that the union budget gave Karnataka nothing even though Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman was representing the state in the parliament
Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday said the Union budget has fulfilled the State government’s expectations in all the key priority sectors, and now he is focused on presenting a budget for the state that will be “pro-people”.
He said the Union budget lays the strong foundation for ‘Amrit Kaal’, with the farsightedness of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and focus on micro to macro-level, aimed at fast-paced development of the nation. “Allocations have been increased in the existing projects. We had a demand to increase the scale of agriculture financing, they have increased it, so it will benefit the State. Also, we had asked for priority to be given to rural infrastructure. This has been done through Jal Jeevan Mission and PM Awas Yojna,” Bommai said.
“Skill development for youth was one of our concerns, the budget has given priority to it, so it will benefit the State. Also allocations have been increased for Railways which will also benefit the State, our government has to give matching grants for it and we will focus towards it in the State budget,” he added.
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president DK Shivakumar said that the union budget gave Karnataka nothing even though Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman was representing the state in the parliament. “Karnataka has got nothing in the Union Budget, except that they have released some amount for Tungabhadra, which has already been there. The budget does not impact Karnataka straight and we are very sorry that we thought Nirmala Sitharaman is from our state and she will give a boost to the state but nothing has been done,” Shivakumar told media persons.
Sitharaman in her budget speech on Wednesday announced a grant of ₹5,300 crore for the Upper Bhadra Project in Karnataka.
Karnataka Congress termed the union budget a ‘seedless budget’ and said it offered nothing to the people of the state.
In a set of tweets, the party came down heavily on the ruling BJP in the State for “not getting ₹23,000 crore for the Upper Bhadra project as it settled for a mere ₹5,300 crore.” It also took a dig at the budget for “doing nothing” for farmers in Karnataka.
“The Central government’s budget is like a “seedless peanut”! This budget is similar to the ‘white crow’ called ‘ ₹20-lakh crore package’!” There is no hope for the youth who are desperate for employment, the Congress alleged. It also flayed the BJP at the Centre for “not coming out with any action plan to control price rise.”
“The Central government has belied the expectations of people who were hoping that their suffering will reduce,” the party said. The Congress slammed the Karnataka unit of the ruling BJP which it said calls itself a “double- engine government”. It sought to know why Karnataka got “nothing” in the Central budget and why only a “meagre” ₹5,300 crore has been allocated for the Bhadra Upper Bank Project, which requires ₹23,000 crore.
Alleging that Karnataka ranks second in farmer suicides among States in the country, the party asked the BJP State unit as to “what was there for the farmers of the State in the budget.” “Farmers’ problems will not be solved by catchy terms like ‘agriculture digitisation’. The Prime Minister does not seem to know the fact that crops cannot be grown with digital technology!” the Congress said.
Hitting out at the Opposition’s apprehension regarding the announcement in the budget, Bommai said the Upper Bhadra project has a status of ‘national project’ today, and without any conditions ₹5,300 crore has been allocated for it in the budget by the Modi government. “We will take all the required measures to complete the project at a fast pace and already the State has spent ₹13,000 crore for the project, and this ₹5,300 crore will help, along with that ₹300 crore has been sanctioned for administrative expenses, and for last mile work- like field channels and Command Area Development Authority (CADA) work- for that also funds will be given once we (State) send a separate proposal,” he said.
(With PTI input)