Kumaraswamy govt. sanctioned projects without funds: Karjol

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and his deputy Govind Karjol in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday.

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and his deputy Govind Karjol in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday.  

CM says JD(S) leaders’ segments got a lion’s share of funds during previous regime

The State government on Thursday told the Legislative Assembly that the erstwhile coalition government headed by H.D. Kumaraswamy had discriminated against MLAs in releasing development funds and randomly sanctioned projects without the approval of the Finance Department. This had left the government with no other option but to put some of the projects on hold.

The sanctioned costs of projects in the Public Works Department (PWD) was six times higher than the funds set aside in the State Budgets presented by the coalition government, it said.

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa said constituencies of 105 members of the BJP received ₹2,985 crore during 2018–20 as against ₹2,974 crore by segments represented by 34 members of the JD(S). The constituencies of Congress’ 79 members received ₹3,834 crore. This came in response to the allegation of Congress and JD(S) members that the government had been discriminating against members of the Opposition in release of funds.

Deputy Chief Minister Govind M. Karjol, who also holds the Public Works portfolio, said works amounting to ₹59,112 crore were sanctioned under the PWD during 2018–20 though the available funds in the State Budgets were only ₹9,450 crore. Works amounting to ₹36,000 crore had been taken up though the Finance Department had not approved them, he said.

Under the Central Road Fund (amount collected by levying cess on petrol and diesel), the Kumaraswamy government sanctioned works estimated at ₹5,700 crore though the amount available was only ₹500 crore.

Mr. Karjol said many works taken up without the Finance Department’s approval had been stopped owing to non-availability of funds. “Do you call this financial discipline?” Mr. Karjol asked Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah, who has presented 14 State Budgets.

Mr. Siddaramaiah said the then Public Works Minister H.D. Revanna could have sanctioned the projects without the approval of the Finance Department. However, the Congress leader said he had not indulged in any financial indiscipline during his tenure as the Chief Minister. When some BJP members said the government had sanctioned works amounting ₹600 crore to Badami constituency represented by Mr. Siddaramaiah, the Congress leader shot back and said, “Withdraw the money if am not entitled as an MLA.”

Kumaraswamy demands White Paper on funds for north Karnataka

Janata Dal (Secular) leader and former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Thursday urged the government to bring out a White Paper on financial allocations made by various dispensations for the development of the backward region of north Karnataka.

This would not only set the records straight, but also expose those who claim to be harbingers of development of north Karnataka, but in reality had done little for its development, he said in the Assembly.

Mr. Kumaraswamy made the demand when BJP member Basanagouda Patil Yatnal took exception to the former Chief Minister defending allocation of more funds for development of several southern constituencies, including Channapatna, represented by him. Mr. Kumaraswamy said there was a need to release more funds to some of these constituencies as they lacked infrastructure development for more than a decade.

However, when Mr. Yatnal took exception to this and wondered if these funds could have not been released for north Karnataka which too is backward, Mr. Kumaraswamy shot back by saying that his government had released sufficient funds for north Karnataka too. He demanded a White Paper on the allocation to north Karnataka to help the public understand which party had actually stood with them.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 10:23:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/kumaraswamy-govt-sanctioned-projects-without-funds-karjol/article30873786.ece

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