Leader of the Opposition in the Legislatives Council D.V. Sadananda Gowda on Monday said the government should cut down on subsidies on popular schemes and unnecessary expenditure to make the 2014-15 budget realistic and implementable.
Initiating the discussion on the State Budget here, Mr. Gowda said subsidies for popular schemes are eating into the revenue and depriving funds for developmental works. Beneficiary-oriented programmes are affecting State finances, he said. While popular schemes are getting immediate funding, it is not the case for infrastructure projects, he said.
He said the 2014-15 budget was only full of tall promises impractical for implementation. Even as the government has utterly failed to mobilise resources as projected in the 2013-14 budget, the Chief Minister has ventured to present another ‘inflated’ budget taking its size to Rs. 1,36,249 crore.
Mr. Gowda said as against the target of collecting Rs. 62,464 own tax revenue, only Rs. 42,974 had been collected till December 2013, a shortfall of 32 per cent. He wondered how the Chief Minister could dare to enhance the size of the budget when he has failed to mobilise targeted resources in the previous fiscal itself.Promises unfulfilled
The former Chief Minister listed out huge gap between funds allocated to different departments in the 2013-14 budget; funds sanctioned; and funds actually released. Except the Housing Department, where the released amount accounted to about 80 per cent, not more than 60 per cent of the allocated funds had been released for other departments, Mr. Gowda said.‘Favour infrastructure’
Urging Mr. Siddaramaiah to revise the budget to a realistic one based on actual accruals, he advised him to focus more on creating infrastructure so as to attract industries into the State. He also suggested regular meetings with important revenue-generating departments so as to constantly keep pressure on revenue mobilisation. “Walk like a lion, take a look back and tread forward correcting mistakes,” he advised the Chief Minister.