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Report on implementation of last year's Budget sought

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Special Correspondent

IN THELEGISLATURE Coalition Government is only doling out promises: Dharam Singh

BANGALORE: Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly N. Dharam Singh on Wednesday demanded that the Government table a report on the actual implementation of last year's (2006-07) Budget.

Initiating the debate on the State Budget (2007-08), he said the coalition Government was only doling out promises but had shown no commitment in implementing them. The H.D. Kumaraswamy Government made 121 assurances in 2006-07 and the number had increased to 273 in the 2007-08 Budget. Only a few schemes were implemented, he said and asked Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa to table the "performance" report to show the utilisation of funds earmarked in the Budget. Funds released by the Union Government and external agencies for various programmes remained unspent, he alleged. Mr. Dharam Singh termed the Budget as "anti-people" and said the financial burden involved following the abolition of the sale of arrack and lottery was Rs. 7,612 crore and the Government has not specified how it would mobilise resources to cover up the revenue losses. Keeping in mind the elections to the urban local bodies, Mr. Yediyurappa, who also holds the Finance portfolio, had announced many schemes in the Budget, he said.

J.C. Madhuswamy (Janata Dal-U) criticised the Government for neglecting the agriculture sector, which, he said, is a major source of livelihood for 60 per cent of the population in the State. The Budget had offered nothing to increase farm production and increase the irrigated area. There was no proposal to boost capital formation and investment in the farm sector and allied activities. The growth rate in the farm sector was two per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP), he said.

Intervening during the debate, Mr. Yediyurappa said the growth rate in the farm sector had declined following drought in 128 taluks. Due to the ban on the sale of arrack and lottery, the State would lose Rs. 1,950 crore and Rs. 250 crore respectively, he said.

Action sought

Bangalore Staff Reporter writes:

G.V. Srirama Reddy (CPI-M), N. Yogish Bhat (BJP) and K.R. Ramesh Kumar (Congress) demanded that the Department of Commercial Taxes should initiate action against 12 companies for selling light energy to their customers for providing broadband through optical fibre cable.

The three members referred to a case in which the Karnataka High Court had dismissed a petition by a company seeking payment of Rs. 24.18 crore as tax, interest and penalty for the sale of light energy. They said such companies were evading tax worth Rs. 24,000 crore in the country. They told Mr. Yediyurappa that his department could realise additional revenue of Rs. 2,500 crore to Rs. 3,000 crore per year.

Mr. Reddy criticised the Budget for not showing any interest in the welfare of anganwadi workers, women, farmers, including agricultural labourers and Stree Shakti groups.

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