Janata Dal (Secular) leader and the former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Wednesday, termed the 2014-15 budget estimates as a “bundle of lies” and said he is disappointed at the insipid budget presented by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
While speaking at the Legislative Assembly, he wondered whether sops announced for various sectors were mere book adjustments or whether money would be spent from the State’s coffers. The government had failed to ensure enough allocations to the irrigation and power sectors, he said. “I never expected this kind of a budget from you [Mr. Siddaramaiah],” Mr. Kumaraswamy said.
Allocation to the power sector last year was 18 per cent against 16 per cent made this year; it should be increased to 25 per cent, Mr. Kumaraswamy said. He sought to know the details of the Global Investors Meet (GIM) in the wake of the announcement made in the budget of yet another GIM slated for October this year.
‘Cut down rice quota’
Mr. Kumaraswamy further suggested that resources to provide sops to irrigation and power sectors could be mobilised by cutting down the 30-kg rice being given to BPL families to 15 kg. He alleged that large quantities of rice and other foodgrains meant for BPL categories were being sold to hoteliers and in the black market.
Reacting to the budget proposal to lend tractors and tillers to farmers on rent, through private contractors, for agricultural operations, he said the government should explain why it wound up the Karnataka State Agro Industries Corporation Ltd., which was handling the job. He said the Gorakh Singh Committee report which recommended relief of Rs. 93 per coconut tree (destroyed due to yellow disease) to farmers was unscientific and it should be enhanced to Rs.500.