The Karnataka government can expect more trouble from the Opposition when Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa presents his budget for Karnataka for 2010-11 on Friday. The Opposition is likely to focus its ire on the shortfall in taxes mobilised by the Government.
Leader of the Opposition in the Legisaltive Assembly Siddaramaiah told The Hindu that the forthcoming budget was likely to be burdened by the resource shortfall. “Given the fiscal situation, the forthcoming budget will neither promote growth nor welfare.”
Of the four main taxes levied by the State government — commercial taxes, taxes levied on motor vehicles, Stamp Duty and Excise Duty — only revenues from Excise Duty are likely to remain buoyant.
The shortfall in revenues had resulted in Mr. Yeddyurappa’s plans for expenditure this financial year going awry. By the end of December 2009, the Government had spent only 60 per cent of the Plan expenditure it had committed to spend in the last budget. Mr. Yeddyurappa had proposed to spend Rs. 29,500 crore on various schemes, which would be a part of the Plan expenditure.
Mr. Siddaramaiah said even if the government had “hurriedly” spent the remaining Plan allocation, “the quality of expenditure would be poor.” He alleged that “rampant corruption” would negate any effort to promote development.
Mr. Siddaramaiah asked: “How can we expect any new schemes for the flood- and drought-affected or for bridging the gap in energy supply when the government has no money?”
The strapline of a report "Resource shortfall casts a shadow on Karnataka budget" (March 3, 2010) was "It will neither promote growth nor welfare: Siddaramaiah". It should have been "It will promote neither growth nor welfare ...".