The petition claimed that Siddaramaiah engaged in corrupt practices during the recently concluded Assembly Elections I File Photo

Karnataka Budget: CM Siddaramaiah says Rs 52,000 cr to be spent for 5 key poll promises

Presenting the first-ever Budget of the Congress government following its win in recently-held Karnataka Assembly polls, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday (July 7) made a budget outlay of ₹3,27,747 crore. Of this, ₹2,50,933 crore has been allocated for revenue expenditure, ₹54,374 crore for capital expenditure and ₹22,441 crore for loan repayment.

Seeking to highlight the Congress’ poll promises, Siddaramaiah said approximately ₹52,000 crore would be spent annually for the five key poll guarantees and it is expected to benefit 1.3 crore families.

Also read: Why Karnataka BJP can’t pick Opposition leader and party chief yet

Poll guarantees

He said through the five guarantees (poll promises), the government will be providing an average additional financial assistance of ₹4,000 to ₹5,000 a month to each household. The five guarantees related to free bus travel for women, 200 units of free electricity, 10 kilograms of free foodgrains to the poor, ₹2,000 for the woman head of the house and unemployment benefit of up to ₹3,000.

Political analysts told PTI that these pre-poll promises found resonance with the electorate leading to the Congress resounding victory in the Assembly elections. In the polls to the 224-member Assembly, the Congress bagged 135 seats, while the BJP secured 66 and the JD(S) 19.

Excise duty up on beer

In his Budget speech, the Karnataka chief minister also announced an increase in additional excise duty on beer from 175 per cent to 185 per cent. Siddaramaiah announced the allocation made for different sectors, giving ₹33,700 crore to agriculture and allied activities, ₹68,479 crore to welfare and inclusive growth, ₹55,657 crore for stimulating economic growth, ₹3,102 crore for the conservation of culture, heritage and natural resources, and ₹56,170 crore for administrative reforms and public service delivery.

State policy to replace NEP

In another key announcement, CM Siddaramaiah said the National Education Policy will be replaced with State Education Policy. New toilet complexes will be constructed in 5,775 schools and 150 colleges in proportion to students’ strength. The project will be taken up in convergence with MGNREGS at a cost of ₹200 crore. ₹100 crore will be allocated for 3833 old, dilapidated and rain-damaged school buildings and 724 pre-university college rooms. To deal with the issue of fake mark sheets, the government will make it mandatory for all higher education students to get registered in Academic Bank of Credits and to access marks cards and certificates from NAD/Digilocker.

Also read: No proposal yet to revoke cow slaughter law: Karnataka government

Trauma care centres

In the health sector, the chief minister announced that Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) will start state-of-the-art skill labs, research centres and indoor sports facilities at Belagavi, Kalaburagi, Hubballi, Davanagere, Dakshina Kannada and Mysuru. Besides, ₹30 crore allocated for trauma care centres in Kalaburgi and Mysuru. He also stated that ₹5 crore worth completely automated and centralised blood bank management system will be established in Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute.

Siddaramaiah created a record of sorts by presenting his 14th budget in the Assembly as Finance Minister, surpassing the mark of late Ramakrishna Hegde, a former chief minister, who had presented 13 budgets.

(With inputs from agencies)

Read More
Next Story