Karnataka state on Friday looked up the budget which was awaited as this is the last budget before the state elections will turn up the heat. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai presented the state budget for the financial year 2023-2024 while the opposition leader – Siddaramaiah, State President of Congress D.K. Shivakumar and all MLAs Friday attended the budget session.
Though not everything was black & white, the opposition stated that according to the reports, “Public should not forget that 100 over promises remain unfulfilled, only 62% of total allocations were spent.” As a form of protest, the opposition was seen wearing flowers behind their ears. In Kannada, wearing flowers behind one’s ears symbolizes betrayal and fooling.
Drama Between The Majority Party and Opposition
On seeing them, Chief Minister Bommai got upset and said, “They are wearing flowers to the Assembly despite being asked to remove them. According to me it’s not correct. It’s their wish and I don’t want to comment on it,” he said.
Former CM of #Karnataka Siddaramaiah and other #Congress leaders wear flowers in ear in Karnataka Assembly during the presentation of the budget for 2023-24 by CM Basavaraj Bommai, alleging that the Bommai led #BJP govt has cheated people of the state.https://t.co/BPEBVb6w06
— Outlook India (@Outlookindia) February 17, 2023
He also said, “All these days he was trying to put flowers on others’ ears (fooling people). Now, the tables have turned. The people have kept flowers on his ears which will continue till the upcoming elections,” Chief Minister Bommai stated.
Focus On Infrastructure Development
₹9,698 crore-worth projects in the State Budget 2023-23 for comprehensive development of Bengaluru city were announced. The government also plans to develop 3,084 km of highways for Rs 1 lakh crore. This includes the Bengaluru-Chennai expressway costing Rs 5,486 crore, and the Bengaluru-Ramanagara-Mandya-Mysuru highway costing Rs 8,408 crore.
“Nine new railway lines are being implemented by the state government along with the Ministry of Railways on a 50:50 cost-sharing basis. The state government will bear the project cost, including the land acquisition cost,” Bommai stated.
“Bengaluru is recognised as the technology hub of the world. Our government has given priority to improving the quality of life of people in this fast-growing city by ensuring seamless mobility, developing roads, laying storm water drains to prevent floods, and developing a scientific and efficient waste management system,” said Bommai.
Boost For Farmers and Agriculture
The Karnataka government will give an additional subsidy of ₹10,000 in the year 2023-24 under a new scheme ‘Bhoo Siri’ for ‘Kisan Credit Card holders. This would facilitate the farmers to purchase seeds, fertilisers, pesticides and other farm inputs in times of exigency.
Loan of Rs 25,000 crore will be distributed to over 30 lakh farmers in next financial year, Karnataka CM Bommai presenting 2023-24 budget
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) February 17, 2023
The increase in the limit of interest-free short-term loans given to farmers would ensure the availability of hassle-free and need-based loan facilities. The state will also contribute ₹2,500, and NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) will add ₹7,500. “This will benefit around 50 lakh farmers of the state,
Taking A Step Ahead With Care For Women Farmers
CM Bommai announced the ‘Shrama Shakthi’ scheme that would provide financial assistance of ₹500 per head every month to landless women farm labourers through direct benefit transfer (DBT).
Women And Child Welfare
A total of ₹46,278 crore has been provided in the budget for women empowerment and welfare, while ₹47,256 crores has been granted for child welfare, CM Bommai said.
The government announced free education in government pre-university and government degree colleges under the ‘CM Vidya Shakti Scheme’ which will benefit 8 lakh students.
For medical education, Karnataka has allocated ₹500 crores to set up a new medical college in Chitradurga. Post-graduate degree courses have been launched at Mandya and Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences, with a new 450-bed hospital in Chamarajanagar to provide tertiary care services.
Floods And Climate Change
The government has increased the subsidy for the reconstruction of houses completely damaged by heavy rainfall to Rs 5 lakh. “Approval has been accorded for the reconstruction of 3,01,884 houses of various classes in the last four years, and Rs. 2,627 crores has been released for this till now,” Bommai said.
To ensure the free flow of rainwater and prevent flooding, Rs 1,813 crore has been provided to develop 195 km of drainage and culverts. Further, to mitigate the effects of climate change and control floods, a project with the assistance of the World Bank will be implemented at a cost of Rs 3,000 crore.
Other areas of the budget that was highlighted were the area of Housing where in the current year, six housing projects have been completed by the Karnataka Housing Board comprising a total of 6,142 houses. “We plan to acquire approximately 2,000 acres of land for housing projects and develop approximately 30,000 properties for distribution to the public and the area of Stamp Duty Collection set the collection target for the Stamps and Registration Department for the year 2022-23 was fixed at Rs 15,000 crore, against which Rs 17,000 crore will be collected by the end of the fiscal, thus exceeding the target. “This will be 13 per cent higher than the budget estimate. A revenue collection target of Rs 19,000 crore has been given to the Stamps and Registration Department for the year 2023-24.
As the budget is out, it’s worth noting that it is merely a framework and its success is dependent on its implementation.