KARNATAKA

`Budget reflects CMP priorities'

BANGALORE, MARCH 11. The State Budget for 2005-06 has focussed on goals mentioned in the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) of the coalition Government and its objective is to achieve "growth with equity," said the Deputy Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah.

Mr. Siddaramaiah was addressing presspersons after presenting the second budget of the Dharam Singh-led Government in the Legislative Assembly on Friday.

The Deputy Chief Minister said the budget reflected the programmes of the CMP and allocations have been increased for the social sector, including agriculture, education, health, rural development and irrigation. "There is no plan cut for the priority sector," he said.

There was a significant jump in the tax and non-tax resources during 2004-05. Revenue from excise, commercial taxes, motor vehicle tax and stamps and registration had increased and that helped the Government allocate more for social sectors. "The Government is not against the information technology and biotechnology sectors. But it is committed to the welfare of the poor and farmers in rural areas," Mr. Siddaramaiah said.

Asked as to whether the budget is pro-rural, he said it is pro-poor and pro-farmer.

`Growth-oriented'

The Chief Minister, Dharam Singh, has termed the budget "development and growth-oriented." The Budget favours the common man, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and minorities. More funds have been allocated for the Minorities Development Corporation, housing, education and health schemes, he said.

The Chief Minister said efforts have been made to eliminate regional imbalances by providing more funds for the Hyderabad Karnataka Development Board.

Backward taluks will receive funds under various schemes. "It is a very good budget for the people," he said.