‘Shettar could have waited for Union budget’

Union Minister for Labour and Employment Mallikarjun Kharge, while describing the State Budget presented by Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar as an election manifesto of the Bharatiya Janata Party, said on Saturday that the latter could have waited for the Union government to present its budget.

“Instead of hurrying through the budget presentation, Mr. Shettar should have waited for the Union government to present its budget, which would determine the extent of Central grants. Based on that he could have allocated matching grants for various projects, giving priority to infrastructure development,” he said.

Mr. Kharge, who was here for a felicitation function organised by the District Congress Committee in recognition of the active role he had played in getting special status for the Hyderabad Karnataka region, was responding to questions by presspersons.

He said that Mr. Shettar’s budget proposals appeared to be a guesstimate. “For instance, the State anticipates revenue generation of 53 per cent of the total outlay of 1.17 lakh crore, while the remainder has been shown as grants and financial assistance from the Union government. If he had waited for the Union budget, he could have known the extent of grants and financial assistance,” he said.

To a question, Mr. Kharge said that the budget had been presented by a minority government and a new government would be formed shortly.

“Such being the situation, what was the need to present a budget that smacks of a poll manifesto?”

Mr. Kharge said that the Congress was geared to face the Assembly elections and expressed confidence that the party would come to power in Karnataka. “We will be facing the Assembly polls with unity. Efforts are on to set right the lapses that occurred in the past.”

Anil Lad, MP ; Allum Veerbhadrappa, former Minister; K.C. Kondaiah, former MLC; Anjaneyalu, president of the Bellary City District Congress Committee, and others received Mr. Kharge at the airport.

  • ‘The budget has been presented by a minority government’

  • ‘The Congress will face Assembly polls with unity’