Staff Correspondent

‘Government has failed in revenue collection’

HUBLI: Former Deputy Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has disputed claims made by Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on achievements of the BJP Government in the State.

Addressing presspersons here on Saturday, Mr. Siddaramaiah, a former Finance Minister, said that the Chief Minister’s statement that the BJP Government had achieved development beyond expectations in the first 200 days of its rule was not a reality.

Mr. Siddaramaiah said that the Government had failed in revenue collection, including various taxes and excise duty. Since revenue collection was low, the Government had no funds for works it had announced in the budget, he said.

The Government had proposed mobilise funds to the tune of Rs. 3,000 crore by auctioning government lands. However, it had so far not managed to mobilise even Rs. 300 crore, he claimed.

“As the Government had failed to mobilise the requisite funds, how can it take up works announced in the budget. The Government doesn’t have any money,” Mr. Siddaramaiah said. In 2002, the Government had passed the Fiscal Responsibility Act, which necessitated measures that would ensure fiscal deficit of less than 3 per cent. Since the BJP Government had “lost its route” and had come out of the strong economic framework, maintaining less than 3 per cent fiscal deficit had become difficult for it, Mr. Siddaramaiah said and added that the Government was now planning to raise loans to mobilise funds.

He expressed doubts over the Chief Minister’s statement that loans to the tune of Rs. 2,700 crore at an interest rate of 3 per cent had been extended to farmers in the State. The BJP Government had failed miserably in checking evasion of excise duty, he said. After the ban on arrack, the number of people consuming Indian Made Liquor had gone up and pilferage in excise duty collection had increased, Mr. Siddaramaiah added.