Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: Karnataka’s total loan burden (till 2008-09) stands at Rs. 65,000 crore, which is about Rs. 11,000 per person if distributed equally among its population.

Disclosing this in the Legislative Council while replying to H.C. Neeravari (JD-S) during Question Hour, Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa said the Centre’s loan burden would be around Rs. 31,000 per head.

Mr. Yeddyurappa said there was no need to be concerned about the State’s loan burden as it was well within the prescribed limits. Presently, 28 per cent of the State’s revenue was going towards debt servicing and the State had set a target of reducing it to 25 per cent by 2013-14.

In 2008-09 itself, the State had borrowed Rs. 8,652.06 crore as against Rs. 2,278.56 crore and 3,545.94 crore in 2007-08 and 2006-07 respectively.

Interestingly, the market borrowings increased from Rs. 750 crore in 2007-08 to Rs. 7,482.57 crore in 2008-09.

Replying to an unstarred question, the Chief Minister said the State was facing a reduction in revenue to the tune of Rs. 6,721 crore when compared with the previous budget due to global recession. The global slowdown had affected collection of commercial taxes, motor vehicle taxes and registration taxes. When several members charged the officials of the Karnataka State Financial Corporation with harassing the borrowers and demanded that it should be closed down, Mr. Yeddyurappa assured the House of convening a meeting of the legislators to discuss the problems related to the corporation.

Meanwhile, Infrastructure Development Minister G. Janardhana Reddy said doubling of 95-km of rail track between Ramanagara and Mysore would be completed by 2012.