Karnataka Budget: No new taxes for common people, says CM Yediyurappa

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Yediyurappa said a proposal has been made to provide six-months of child-care leave to women employees of the state government.

Karnataka chief minister B S Yediyurappa on Monday presented the state Budget and while admitting that it has been formulated in a most-difficult situation, said that the state government will not be levying any new taxes.

Yediyurappa, who presented his third budget as the Chief Minister, allocated Rs 24,6207 crore as against the state budget of Rs 22,9925 crore, registering an increase of over 7%. “Economic activities in the state had come to a standstill due to natural calamities, floods and the Covid-19 pandemic. Revenue collection was adversely affected by the lockdowns that were imposed. Despite the unenviable situation, I have ensured that all the committed expenditure like salary, pension, loan repayment etc. was provided for. Also, I have provided funds for developmental activities as well,” he said, while presenting the budget at the Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru.

He added, “Against the budgeted estimates, we are expecting to spend at least 94% of the total expenditure. This is the result of strict fiscal discipline in the initial months of the Financial Year and recovery of the state’s economy in the last quarter. From such points of financial constraints, this is a balanced budget bringing relief in a difficult situation.”

Rs 5,372 crore spent on Covid management: CM

Yediyurrapa said the state has spent Rs 5,372 crore for tackling the pandemic and 63.59 lakh beneficiaries of different sectors have been given assitance. “About 1.91 crore people have undergone RT-PCR tests since the end of February. Free treatment has been provided to 9.53 lakh patients. 90 lakh food packets have been distributed to labourers at construction sites. Assistance has been provided to 16.45 lakh construction workers, 11,770 artisans and 51 lakh farmers,” he added.

No sales tax on petrol and diesel

Meanwhile, Yediyurappa, in the Budget, did not levy any sales tax on petrol and diesel, prices of which are already very high. “I am not willing to put the burden of additional taxes on the common people. The state government levies Karnataka Sales Tax (KST) on petrol and diesel, but it is much lower when compared to other states in the south,” he said

The government also reduced stamp duty for the registration of apartments valued between Rs 35-45 lakh from 5% to 3%.

The Chief Minister also said that the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) has seen a fall due to the lockdowns. As per initial estimates based on fixed prices, the GSDP has contracted by 2.6 per cent in 2020-21 when compared to the figures of 2019-20.

He further stated that the central government has facilitated the states to obtain loan up to 5% of the GSDP during 2020-21 for facing the economic crisis arisen due to Covid-19. “In spite of Covid and occurrence of floods in North Karnataka, growth of 6.4 per cent has been observed in the agriculture sector. However, the industrial sector has contracted by 5.1% and the service sector witnessed a decline of 3.1%,” he added.

Allocation for various sectors

Yediyurappa, who also holds the finance portfolio, allocated Rs 31,028 crore for the agriculture sector, Rs 62,150 crore for the welfare and inclusive growth sector, Rs 29,688 crore for education, Rs 27,386 crore for urban development, Rs 21,181 crore for water resources, Rs 16,516 crore for the energy sector, Rs 16,036 core for rural development and panchayat raj, Rs 52,529 crore is allocated for providing stimulus to economic activities in the state while states capital Bengaluru has been allocated Rs 7,795 crore.

Women’s Day gift

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Yediyurappa said a proposal has been made to provide six-months of child-care leave to women employees of the government.

“To assist the urban working women, our government will also upgrade the Anganawadis in Bengaluru and other cities into crèches in a phased manner,” he added.

The government will provide a loan facility up to Rs 2 crore at a subsidised rate of 4% through Woman Development Board/Karnataka State Financial Corporation to female entrepreneurs.

“Support will also be provided under the State Rural Livelihood Mission ‘Sanjeevini’ covering rural women self-help groups to start 6,000 micro-enterprises. 60,000 women are expected to get an opportunity to self-employ themselves,” he added.

The government also proposed to provide a market to the products manufactured by women self-help groups and women entrepreneurs, organise annual fares at divisional levels and implement of the e-market facility.

Yediyurappa announced the commencement of the ‘Vanitha Sangathi’ programme for providing BMTC (Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation) bus passes at concessional rates to women labourers of the garment sector in Bengaluru at an expenditure of Rs 30 crore.

The Chief Minister also said that 7,500 cameras in public places of Bengaluru city will be installed.

‘Yatri Nivas’ at Ayodhya

Meanwhile, the Karnataka Government has proposed to construct a Yatri Nivas at Ayodhya at a cost of Rs 10 crore. According to the Budget, the Uttar Pradesh government will provide 10 acres of land for the construction.

One ‘Goshala’ for each district

After banning cow slaughtering, Yediyurappa announced the establishment of one ‘Goshala’ in each district. He also said that the government will implement a programme with an outlay of Rs 500 crore for the promotion of organic farming.

“Under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan scheme, a food park will be established at Ittangihal village in Vijayapura district. Reservation for children of farmers in the agricultural universities will be increased to 50%,” Yediyurappa said.

Yediyurappa announced the development of a Horticultural Technological Park in Sirivara village of Koppal District and the establishment of a new agricultural export zone for aromatic and medicinal plants, fruits, vegetables and spices. A support facility will be set up at the international airports of the state for export of horticultural crops.

Rs 2 crore to enable use of Kannada in information technology

The Chief Minister announced the development of a suite of technical tools for the Kannada language at an expenditure of Rs 2 crore to enable the use of Kannada in information technology.

Meanwhile, digitization of all works from the times of Adikavi Pampa to Muddanna are to be made available through internet. The CM also announced the construction of the new Anubhava Mantapa at Basavakalyana at a cost of Rs 500 crore.

Opposition Congress boycotts Budget

Leaders of the Congress party protested by wearing black armbands. Led by Siddaramaiah, the Congress MLA’s boycotted the budget after a few minutes of the protest.

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