Union budget met expectations of K’taka, State budget to be ‘pro-people’: CM

Source: PTI | Published on 2nd February 2023, 7:34 PM | State News |

Bengaluru: 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 is “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.

Speaking to reporters here, he 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.” The Union budget almost fulfills the State government’s expectations in key priority sectors like rural development, agriculture, infrastructure, housing, irrigation, and MSMEs, he said, adding that “the State budget will be pro-people.” The Chief Minister, who also holds the Finance portfolio, is slated to table his government’s last budget on February 17.

Bommai also cheered the Rs 5,300 crore assistance for the Upper Bhadra project in Karnataka announced by the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Union budget presented on Wednesday.

The Upper Bhadra project was initiated during the BJP rule when B S Yediyurappa was the Chief Minister in 2008, he said adding that the plan for the project was on since 1960s when Nijalingappa was the Chief Minister, but no specific action was taken in this regard.

Hitting out at the Opposition’s apprehension regarding the announcement in the budget, Bommai said the Upper Bhadra project has a status ‘national project’ today, and without any conditions Rs 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 Rs 13,000 crore for the project, and this Rs 5,300 crore will help, along with that Rs 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.

Also, urban infrastructure has been given a boost in the Union budget which would help in strengthening the State’s urban infrastructure, he further said.

Rejecting criticism that there is nothing in the budget for Karnataka other than the Upper Bhadra project, the Chief Minister said in all projects announced in the budget, Karnataka would get its share, certain projects need to be implemented by the State and the Centre for which State government has to release the matching fund.

The important aspect of this budget is thrust for growth and increase in the capital outlay, the Chief Minister said, as he also highlighted the priority given to employment generation, skilling, agriculture, and women empowerment, among others.

Along with strong measures for economic reforms, the budget also benefits the common man by increasing the income tax limit, which would in turn increase his purchasing power, Bommai said. “This budget is one that has something for everybody.” 

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