The State’s debt doubled during the governance of the Bharatiya Janata Party due to financial indiscipline, said Basavaraj Rayaraddi of the Congress in the Legislative Assembly.

Speaking on the motion of thanks to the Governor for his address, Mr. Rayaraddi said the State’s debt was Rs. 63,844 crore till 2007 and had shot up to Rs. 1,37,089 crore in 2013, primarily due to reckless borrowing and financial indiscipline.

Need-based borrowing

Only need-based borrowings would reduce the debt as well as fiscal deficit. Increased non-plan expenditure on account of subsidy and salaries, pensions, and such contributed to the reduction of the amount available for planned expenditure. Spending on irrigation works declined from 32 per cent of the planned expenditure during the S.M. Krishna regime (2000-2004) to 17 per cent during the BJP regime, he said. Noting pending of works in the Krishna basin, he suggested the government allot at least Rs. 10,000 crore a year to complete all canal modernisation works to ensure full utilisation of Krishna waters. He opposed a separate budget on agriculture.

‘No substance’

Intervening during Mr. Rayaraddi’s speech, the former Chief Minister and BJP floor leader Jagadish Shettar said there was no substance in his statement and demanded a White Paper on the State finances during the BJP tenure.

‘Sound fiscal position’

The former Chief Minister and Karnataka Janata Paksha president B.S. Yeddyurappa said the Congress had announced a Rs. 6,500-crore subsidy under various schemes, including waiver of loans, on the first day in office on account of the sound fiscal position left by the BJP government.

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