Pragativahini News, Bengaluru : Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai described the Union Budget as the most progressive for overall growth and contained all points that will lay a strong foundation stone for the nation’s progress in the Amrit Kal.
Addressing a news conference here to react on the Union Budget on Thursday, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the aim to take India towards progress fast. Starting from the Swaccha Bharat up to the economic reforms, several bold decisions have been taken. Karnataka will have its share in all the projects such as MSME, Jal Jeevan Mission, Rural Development, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, and Urban Infrastructure that have been mentioned in the central budget. Since Karnataka has been a progressive state, basic infrastructure has been given importance.
He said the Indian economy is growing steadily when compared with the economic situation of several countries in the world. The GDP of India is 6 percent to 6.8 percent whereas the GDP of other developed nations has been just 2 percent. There is a strong foundation for the Indian economy. The agriculture, service and manufacturing sectors are witnessing growth. In total, the GDP rate is healthy and it is very important to understand the effects of the budget. A lot of basic changes have taken place to give strength to the current growth.
Bommai said the Capital Layout has been hiked by Rs 10 lakh crore in the budget and it is 2,500 times more than the budgets of the previous governments. The present hike will speed up India’s economic and social growth. More funds have been allocated for the social infrastructure and this will help to witness positive development in the coming days.
Rural infra development
The CM said impetus has been given to rural development and more amount has been issued for house construction in villages. Rupees 70,000 crores have been earmarked for drinking water in rural area houses to achieve the target of providing drinking water to all houses before 2024-25. Every year there would be complaints of not giving importance to small industries but now the limits for MSME had been increased. These industries are given tax rebates up to Rs 3 crore. The government of India is giving collateral guarantees for small industries up to Rs 2 lakh crore and slashed interest rates on loans by 1 percent. Through all these measures encouragement is given to small industries.
Over Rs 1 lakh crore allocation for agriculture
He said the allocation for health and education sectors had been increased. The central government is giving financial assistance to the women’s self-help groups, providing market facilities to make use of women’s empowerment. Priority has been given to increasing jobs and skill development. Agriculture has been given priority by allocating over Rs one lakh crore.
Rs 5300 crore for the Upper Bhadra scheme
The CM said there was a demand for the Upper Bhadra scheme since 1964 but no definite action was taken till 2008. After the BJP came to power, this project was taken up. Every party said that the grants will not come for this project in the current year. But the budget has been for the year 2023-24. Hitherto, it was 16 tmc and now it is 24 tmc and naturally, the project cost has gone up. Since this project has been declared a National Project, it got clearance from the Department of Water Resources, CWC, and Finance Department, and later got approved in the Union Cabinet and was announced in the Union Budget. Once it got mentioned in the Union Budget it became a national project. Earlier, the grants would be released for irrigation projects depending upon the progress under the AIBP scheme. In 2012, the then-UPA Government put restrictions because of which the funds for several Karnataka projects did not come. However, the situation changed after the NDA Government came to power as it followed the practice of direct release of funds for projects. So, the grant of Rs 5300 crore will come to Karnataka from the Union Government without any conditions. The state government has already spent Rs 1300 crore on this project. The central government grants would be used in the coming days. The funds for CADA works would again come from the Government of India. “We must feel that so much money has come for only one scheme of the state. The opposition parties are disappointed because of which they are making such comments”.
The CM said priority has been given to urban infrastructure and also to Solid Waste Management. The income tax rebate for the citizens will help in economic development. Purchase power will increase if people have money on them. This budget will touch every field and everything and help everyone. The allocation has increased for important projects. The agricultural economy will increase and it will benefit the state also. Rural development has received good attention and even additional grants have been released for the skill development of youths. Railway projects have been given Rs one lakh crore and this will benefit Karnataka.
Not much grant decreased for MGNAREGA
He said all projects will have their time limit and even Sarva Shikshana Abhiyan was a fixed ten years time limit. Later, it was proposed for the Madhyamik Shikshan. However, it was extended till 2012. The allocation for NAREGA has not been reduced as assets had been created in rural infrastructure. The reduction in allocation will not affect asset creation in any manner. Since many projects are included in the NAREGA scheme, asset creation in rural areas will not be affected in any manner.
Metro 2nd stage to complete in 2024
The CM said Rs 23 crore has been allocated for Metro’s 2nd stage project and its extension will come in stage 4 purview. Thereafter DPR must be prepared. All 2nd stage works will compete by 2024 and then stage 3 works will commence and will be followed by stage 4 works. At that time the grants will be released. The areas in Bengaluru rural will be included in stage 3. The metro services will be extended to other places like Magadi in stage 4.
Replying to a question on the Mekedatu project, Bommai said the government had erred at the beginning of this project because of which it got stuck in an inter-state water dispute. The then government had said that there was no dispute for the project but now it got stuck in the Supreme Court. There will be grants in the budget only if the project gets permission from the apex court. The funds will be utilized only after getting the court permission and till then there is no permission even to prepare DPR. Once the DPR is approved, work will start at the earliest.
He said funds will come to the state from the Government of India for various schemes such as ICDC, Rural and Urban Development, National Highways, and Railway. There will be clarity after the disbursement of funds. “Our priority sectors like rural development, agriculture, railway and other economic infra projects, housing, irrigation, and MSME have got the allocation”.
Resource mobilization without deficit
Bommai said the GST compensation has got approval constitutionally and everyone in Parliament has given assent. since the period of all the projects is over they will do the resource mobilization without giving any scope for the shortfalls.