Except imposing an additional tax on beer, every other aspect had been taken care of. In fact, many concessions have been offered to various sectors.

The State Budget aims at ushering in inclusive growth, strengthening the social sector and ensuring social justice, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said here on Friday, while addressing presspersons after presenting the budget at the State Legislative Assembly. The fiscal deficit is expected to be Rs. 20,041 crore, which is 2.92 per cent of the GSDP.

The total liabilities at Rs. 1,57,681 crore at the end of 2014-15 are estimated to be 23.01 per cent of the GSDP, which is well within the prescribed limit of 25.2 per cent for 2014-15 mandated under the Karnataka Fiscal Responsibility Act.

The State’s tax revenue for the year 2014-15 is put at Rs. 69,870 crore, with an increase of 13.55 per cent over the previous budget estimates.

The financial position of the State is sound, he averred, belying the dismal picture presented by the Opposition parties. He said the government has implemented almost all programmes enunciated by it in the previous budget seven months ago.

The revival of the agriculture sector was a notable achievement of the State government, the Chief Minister stated, adding, from a negative growth rate recorded in 2012-13, it had registered a positive growth of 3.26 per cent.

The food production target fixed for the previous year at 131 lakh tonnes has been surpassed.

He said the Agriculture Price Commission would come into existence from April. The government has implemented more than 60 of the over 160 programmes announced by it in its election manifesto and about 40 more would be implemented in the next one year, he said.

Referring to the Hyderabad Karnataka region, he said a sum of Rs. 600 crore grants, apart from an amount of Rs. 1,037 special development plan funds, had been set apart for the development of the region.

Replying to another question on why the budget proposals were scheduled to be implemented from March, Mr. Siddaramaiah defended himself saying the budget would not be a burden on the people. Except imposing an additional tax on beer, every other aspect had been taken care of. In fact, many concessions have been offered to various sectors, he said.

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