Siddaramaiah calls BJP for debate on fiscal performance of Congress govt during his term

Source: ANI | By I.G. Bhatkali | Published on 27th October 2020, 3:30 PM | State News | Don't Miss |

Bengaluru: Former Karnataka Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Monday challenged the claims made by Bharatiya Janatha Party (BJP) that Congress burdened the state with liabilities during its term.

He challenged the ruling party to prove their claims in an open debate about the fiscal performance of the Congress government.

"Bharatiya Janatha Party has accused our government of burdening our people with liabilities. If they are confident of their claims, I challenge them to come for an open debate about fiscal performance of our government. Let them decide the place and time, and I will come. It is also my duty to clarify to the people of Karnataka with facts and figures and put an end to BJP's false claims," said Siddaramaiah.

Putting out the facts and figures, the Congress leader said, "Current borrowings under BJP increased by 212 per cent between 2008-09 to 2012-13 and under Congress, it increased only by 65 per cent. Total debt under BJP increased by 94.18 per cent between 2008-09 to 2012-13 and under Congress it increased only by 78.14 per cent."

He said that budget estimated current year borrowings for 2020-21 is Rs 53,000 crore and the government is additionally borrowing Rs 33,000 crore. "The burden of Rs 12,000 crore GST shortfall will also fall on the state," he added.

"BJP leaders should first understand the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) act. Total debt should be under 25 per cent of GSDP. Our government had maintained the total debt well within the limits during the entire term. Now, total debt under BJP will exceed 33 per cent of GSDP," he added.

The former chief minister further said that the fiscal deficit should be under 3 per cent of GSDP as per the FRBM act and he had maintained it within limits throughout his term.

"BJP is increasing the fiscal deficit from 3 to 5 per cent and this is a dangerous attempt. I suggest to increase only to 3.5 per cent to maintain fiscal discipline," he said.

"Karnataka's share in devolution of funds reduced from 4.71 per cent to 3.64 per cent after 15th FC recommendations. Karnataka will lose Rs 12,000 crore because of this. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman rejected the proposed compensation of Rs 5,495 crore," Siddaramaiah further said.

He further alleged that BJP has only preached about divide and rule, communal hatred and violence. "Had they taught about administration and public finance, we would not have had to respond to their false narrative," he said.

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