State Budget to be guided by coalition ‘dharma’

It has been prepared based on the Common Minimum Programme

July 04, 2018 11:46 pm | Updated 11:46 pm IST - BENGALURU

The JD(S)–Congress coalition government’s maiden budget, to be presented in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday, will be largely guided by the coalition “dharma”.

With this budget, the new alliance would be cemented by a common vision for economic development of Karnataka, sources in both the parties told The Hindu .

The budget preparations were made based on the Common Minimum Programme of the coalition partners. Besides much talked waiver of farm loans, maternity benefit for women belonging to BPL families, measures for adoption of Israel method of farming, steps to boost animal husbandry and allied activities, creation more crore jobs, and universal health policy (popularly called Arogya Karnataka) are expected to find place in the budget proposals.

The budget is expected to provide higher allocations for irrigation sector, horticulture, sericulture, and incentive for dry-land farmers growing rain-fed crops. Housing is also expected to get a sizeable allocation.

The budget, a first to be presented by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, is expected to largely repeat the proposals announced by his predecessor, Siddaramaiah, in the State Budget presented before the Assembly elections. All flagship programmes of the previous government are expected to get due recognition in this budget.

With regard to Bengaluru, the budget is likely to spell out programmes for solid waste management, construction of TenderSURE roads, and expediting metro rail project. It will have to be seen whether the coalition government would provide more allocations for suburban rail project.

The Chief Minister is expected to announce construction of satellite towns, industrial townships, and new polices in various sectors.

For raising funds for the farm loan-waiver scheme, experts in the finance and banking sectors pointed out that the government has three options. First, it can mobilise more revenue from various sources for waiver of loans; second, it can prepare a plan for staggering of waiver of loans in phases, and third, introduce cuts in capital/revenue expenditures.

The last Budget presented by Mr. Siddaramaiah had set aside an outlay of ₹2,09,181 crore, an increase of 12.2% compared with the 2017–18 budget.

Mr. Siddaramaiah presented a ₹127-crore revenue surplus budget for building “Nava Karnataka” to realise the new aspirations in the coming days.

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