Karnataka CM showcases ‘guarantee schemes’, targets Centre in 2024-25 budget

06:49 PM Feb 16, 2024 | PTI |

Bengaluru: With the Lok Sabha polls round the corner, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, presenting the state budget on Friday, strongly defended his government’s guarantee schemes, asserting that they are not an “election gimmick”, and flayed the central government for its “anti people” decisions.


In his record 15th budget speech as finance minister and second under the present Congress regime, Siddaramaiah proposed to revise the tax slabs for Indian Made Liquor (IML) and beer, in order to rationalise them and make them competitive with similar products of neighbouring states.

The total outlay of the budget for 2024-25 is pegged at Rs 3,71,383 crore, with borrowings this year crossing the Rs one lakh crore mark.

Siddaramaiah said though he has presented a revenue deficit budget (with deficit pegged at Rs 27,354 crore), he has increased the budgetary allocation for welfare programmes to Rs 1,20,373 Crore.

“Further I have successfully ensured fiscal consolidation by keeping the fiscal deficit within 3 per cent of GSDP and total outstanding liabilities within 25 per cent of GSDP,” he said, as he also expressed confidence in achieving revenue surplus after the next two years.


The budget presentation was interrupted by sloganeering and a walkout by members of the Opposition, as Siddaramaiah came down heavily on the BJP government at the Centre.

Claiming that his government is marching ahead towards setting a new example of ‘Karnataka Model of Development’ founded on the principles of justice, equality and fraternity enshrined in our Constitution, he said, the “anti-people decisions” of the central government for the last 10 years has led to alarming developments such as widening inequality, concentration of wealth in a few hands and crony capitalism.

“Therefore our state government has undertaken the work left undone by the central government which has abdicated its responsibility. Our guarantee schemes are not just an election gimmick. They are the result of the feedback obtained during ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’,” he said.

These schemes are earnest efforts to create jobs and enhance purchasing power of the people, he further said, adding that they are aimed at creating a just and fair society by redistribution of wealth.

Siddaramaiah said that the government is putting Rs 52,000 crore in the hands of crores of people during 2024-25 through the five ‘guarantee schemes’.

An average of Rs 50,000 to Rs 55,000 is transferred to each family every year through guarantee schemes, he said, “The implementation of guarantee schemes has brought us admiration from the entire world. The positive economic and social impact of the guarantee schemes will become more clear with time. Many countries and international agencies are studying and appreciating our work.”

Noting that Karnataka is the second-highest source of GST collections in the country with 18 per cent increase in current financial year compared to the corresponding period in 2022-23, the CM also said that a loss of Rs 59,274 crore was incurred by the state due to unscientific implementation of GST in the last seven years by the Centre.

Alleging that injustice by the Centre to the state, he said, “It is estimated that during the six-year period of the 15th Finance Commission, the loss to the state under devolution of central taxes is estimated to be Rs 62,098 crore.”

Unscientific implementation of GST, increase in cesses and surcharges and change in allocation formula — these three injustices meted out by the central government, coupled with short release of funds to the states, have adversely affected the financial strength of all the states of the country, the CM said.

As the ruling party in several states are the same as that in the centre, these states are unable to raise their voice against the injustices meted out to them, he added.

In the budget speech, the CM said the government has decided to waive interest on medium and long-term overdue loans of District Cooperative Central and Primary Cooperative Agriculture and Rural Development banks, stating that it would benefit more than 57,000 farmers.

Asserting his government’s commitment to implement various irrigation and drinking water projects related to inter-state rivers, including Mekedatu over Cauvery, he detailed clearances and approvals pending with the central government.

Allocation of Rs 100 crore for the development of tourism in Anjanadri hill, which is considered by many to be the birthplace of Lord Hanuman, Rs 100 crore for the development of Wakf properties and Rs 200 crore for the development of Christian community, are among the proposals in the budget.

Construction of underground tunnels aimed at resolving traffic congestion in Bengaluru city has also been proposed. “On a pilot basis, a tunnel will be constructed this year at Hebbal Junction, where there is high traffic congestion,” he said.


Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.