Karnataka Budget 2018 LIVE UPDATES: CM H D Kumaraswamy to present populist schemes: HD Kumaraswamy, the Karnataka Chief Minister, is all set to present the Congress-JDS coalition government’s maiden budget today, prior to the high expectations of farm loan waiver.
As per the recent assembly polls, the Kumaraswamy-led JD(S) had promised to waive farm loans borrowed both from cooperative and nationalised banks just within 24 hours after he came in the power.
Mr Kumaraswamy, who also holds the finance portfolio, had also said once, coalition compulsions and the required for studying the financial condition of the state as the crucial reason for the delay in the statement and declaration on the loan waiver.
Financial experts and some government officials have already showed their concern over the impact loan waiver which can be affecting the state’s finances also.
This will be yet to see how Mr Kumaraswamy, who has in the past claimed that he is not an expert on the economy, can be strike a balance between loan waiver, flagship schemes of the preceding government, new schemes or programmes if any, as also infrastructure required of the state.
The Congress-JD(S) coordination committee constituted to oversee the smooth functioning of the government had on Sunday approved the Common Minimum Programme, that is consists of the waiver of farm loans, creation of one crore jobs and allocation of Rs. 1.25 lakh crore for irrigation over the next five years.
This will be also constructed for the 20 lakh houses for homeless families in the state in the next five years, alongside the implementation of a universal health policy, ‘Arogya Karnataka’ of the earlier government, among others.
The budget also arrived prior to the coalition worries and debate over whether there was a need for a full-fledged fresh budget as the government would continue almost all the flagship schemes of the previous government.
Former Chief Minister and Coordination committee chief Siddaramaiah, also held the finance portfolio in the previous government, had recently said there was no need for a fresh budget which also insisted that a supplementary budget would do.
Adding to the coalition’s discomfort is the controversy over videos which ostensibly showed coordination committee chairman Mr Siddaramaiah’s remarks, questioning the requirement for the new and the budget, which is expressing skepticism over longevity of the government.
On the other hand, the opposition BJP has demanded that Mr Kumaraswamy should come with a “white paper” on the state’s financial position prior to presenting the budget.
Leader of the opposition in the assembly BS Yeddyurappa has warned that if the government fails to keep up its promises on loan waiver, BJP and all its 104 lawmakers can go with the Congress and JD(S) manifestos to inform them that the parties have not ‘walked the talk.’
for the meantime, KR Ramesh Kumar, the Karnataka Legislative Assembly Speaker, sounded a note of caution about loan waiver becoming a “fashion”.
Enchanting note of the discussions on the subject of farm loan waiver, he questioned why no one was speaking about making farmer capable of paying back.
Stating that it is true that loan waiver was already REQUIRED TO relieve farmers in distress, Mr Kumar said “but let is said that t5his w90ll be share of credit for the farm loan waiver, keeping in mind the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, party President Rahul Gandhi expressed confidence about the Congress-JDS coalition government which work towards the commitment to waive farmer loans and to make farming more profitable.
“On the eve of the Karnataka Budget, I’m confident our Congress-JDS coalition Govt will act on our commitment to waive farmer loans & to make farming more profitable,” he said in a tweet.
“This budget is an opportunity for our Govt. to make Karnataka a beacon of hope for farmers all across India,” he said.