National News Analysis

23 May 2024, 17:01 PM


Karnataka Budget 2024-25 : Presenting the 2024-25 budget in the legislative assembly, Cm Siddaramaiah emphasised on the detrimental effects of fake news and violence on social stability. He announced the formation of a joint Information Disorder Task Force by the Information Technology and Biotechnology departments to confront the rising threat of misinformation and its potential to disrupt social harmony. Simultaneously, the government will introduce robust measures to crack down on rioting and hold perpetrators accountable, ensuring public safety and peace, he added.Read more

Bengaluru Live Updates: CM Siddaramaiah presents Karnataka Budget; govt announces scheme for unemployed youth; govt announces new home delivery app for delivery of food grains

Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah presents Rs 3.71 lakh crore budget; gross borrowings to exceed Rs 1 lakh crore

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah presented his record 15th budget on Friday with a budget size of Rs 3.71 lakh crore. For the first time, borrowings of the state are expected to exceed Rs 1 lakh crore as the government estimated gross borrowings of around Rs 1.05 lakh crore during the 2024-25 fiscal.

Apart from continuing with the flagship guarantee schemes that propelled the Congress to power in the state, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah – under pressure from party legislators – also allocated funds for several infrastructure projects. Apart from increased outlays for the irrigation and public works departments, the budget also discussed various avenues to increase revenue for the government such as keeping business establishments open till 1 am on all days.

Karnataka grew at 10.2% last fiscal, says MTFP; warns against switching back to Old Pension Scheme

With a growth rate of 10.2 per cent, Karnataka will exceed the national average in terms of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP). According to the Mid Term Fiscal Plan (MTFP) of the Karnataka government, the national average GSDP growth stands at 8.9 per cent.

However, the growth rate last fiscal was lower than the previous fiscal, where it had recorded 14.8 per cent GSDP growth.

In the last fiscal, the Services sector was the main contributor for the growth in Karnataka, which grew by 12.8 per cent — compared to 17 per cent in 2022-23 — followed by the industries sector, which grew at 7.1 per cent against a growth rate of 10.3 per cent last fiscal. 

‘Lacks commitment and direction’, Opposition BJP, JD(S) lash out at Karnataka budget

Criticising the budget presented by Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday, Opposition BJP and JD(S) alleged that it lacked commitment and direction.

The BJP and JD(S) had staged a walkout when Siddaramaiah was presenting the budget, saying it had nothing for farmers and other communities of the state. They also staged a protest in front of the Gandhi statue at the Vidhana Soudha.

Leader of Opposition R Ashok said it was “a hopeless budget on all fronts and there is no vision for (the) development of the state, contrary to what was claimed by Congress leaders.”

The budget, he said, lacked foresight and failed to instil confidence in the public. “It has no new initiatives to address the needs of farmers, women, poor, youth, and industry. It is only decorated with empty slogans and fancy titles,” he added.

Siddaramaiah’s budget focuses on science, computer education; no grants for free bicycle scheme; experts call it ‘mixed bag’

In his 15th budget presented on Friday, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announced an increase in budget outlay for education by allocating Rs 44,422 crore, which is 12 per cent of the total expenditure. This is an increase of Rs 6,800 crore from his interim budget presented in July 2023, soon after coming to power.

However, there was disappointment when the CM made no mention of resuming the free bicycle scheme for government school students. The school education department had proposed to reintroduce the free bicycle scheme during the budget meeting, which was stopped after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The budget focused on infrastructure by allocating Rs 850 crore for the Assessment Year 2024-25, an increase by Rs 250 crore from the previous AY, to develop government schools and pre-university colleges.

The chief minister also laid emphasis on developing science, computer labs and internet facilities by earmarking Rs 50 crore, under a two-year package in government high schools with higher enrollment. As per survey reports, a little over 10 per cent of government schools in Karnataka are equipped with internet accessibility.

Further, a grant of Rs 10 lakh each will also be provided to upgrade science labs in pre-university colleges where over 400 students have been enrolled in science stream. The budget also promised upgradation of 2,000 government primary schools as bilingual schools (Kannada and English).

Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah announces extension of Bengaluru Metro to Devanahalli, Tumkur in Budget speech

Karnataka Chief minister Siddaramaiah in his Budget speech on Friday announced that a feasibility report will be prepared to extend Bengaluru Metro rail from BIEC to Tumkur and Kempegowda International Airport to Devanahalli. The Chief Minister said that the works will be undertaken on a Public-Private Partnership model.

The extension of the Metro network to Tumkur will cover a distance of nearly 50 km while the extension to Devenahalli will cover a distance of 13 km.

Karnataka Leader of Opposition reacts to Budget

While reacting to the state budget, Leader of Opposition R Ashok said the budget presented by CM Siddaramaiah lacks commitment and direction. This is a hopeless budget on all fronts and there is no vision for development of the state contrary to what was claimed by Congress leaders, he said.

This budget lacks foresight, fails to instil confidence in the public and has no new initiatives to address the needs of farmers, women, poor, youth, and industry and is only decorated with empty slogans and fancy titles, added Ashok.

He further crticised Siddaramaiah’s first term and said that Karnataka’s debt rose from Rs 1,39,000 cr to Rs. 2,86,790 cr in just 5 yrs. The annual interest burden on the state shot up from Rs 8,500 cr to Rs.16,208 cr leaving a debt burden of Rs 44,000 on every citizen. His second term is also pushing the state into a debt crisis.

He lambasted the CM and said that misusing budget speech for political mudslinging is an insult to the constitutional mandate of the government. The shameless act of using budget speech to blame the central govt exposes Congress party’s existential crisis and reflects Congress’ sheer desperation to somehow paint a bad picture of Modi Government ahead of Lok Sabha polls, he added.

Karnataka Budget Live: Govt on success of shakti scheme

Shakti scheme is the first guarantee scheme implemented within a month of assuming power by our Government. Under the scheme, free bus travel facility is being offered to women, girl students and gender minorities.

Under Shakti scheme, more than 155 crore women commuters have availed the benefit of free travel so far and Rs.3,000 crore has been provided for this. The survey of Shakti scheme shows an overwhelmed response from the public. By implementing this scheme, we have given emphasis to women empowerment and freedom.

Women are putting this scheme to good use by pursuing education, finding better employment opportunities, more participating in economic activities and travelling. The splendid response to this scheme mirrors its successful implementation. Automated driving test tracks will be constructed at Udupi, Chikkaballapur, Nelamangala, Madikeri, Madhugiri, Hunasuru at an estimated cost of Rs.36 crore.

Seizing yards will be set up at Devanahalli and Tumakuru at a total cost of Rs.10 crore. Automated test centers will be developed at 32 places under public private partnership to facilitate fitness testing of all transport vehicles seeking renewal of fitness certificate. A scheme will be rolled out to digitalize documents of all the vehicles registered in Transport Department. On pilot basis, records in Bengaluru Central, Belagavi, Mangaluru, and Bhalki will be digitalized during 2024-25.

Karnataka Budget LIVE: Govt declares ‘Bhoo-Suraksha’ and ‘Digi-Kandaya’ schemes

– ‘Bhoo-Suraksha’ scheme will be rolled out on pilot basis to provide the citizen computerized records online by scanning land, survey and registration records of Revenue Department.

– Under Digi-Kandaya scheme, action will be taken to provide all services provided by Revenue Department to public through digital platform. Offices from village level to the State level will be covered under digital service. Laptops will be provided to the Village Administrative Officers and Revenue Inspectors working at field level.

– The 15th Finance Commission had fixed the compensation amount based on the expenditure during 2011-17. As a result, it has allocated a dismal amount to the State under SDRF for 2021-26. This is akin to feeding an elephant with half-a-penny worth buttermilk. The State has suffered a total loss of Rs.1.21 lakh crore since 2018 due to natural calamities occurring every year. As against the Rs 9,300 crore released by the Central Government since 2018, the State government has spent Rs.15,874 crore from its exchequer through various departments.

– A Climate Change Experience Centre for school children will be started at a cost of Rs 10 cr to bring awareness in children about effects of climate change.

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