BANGALORE: Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Siddaramaiah termed the state budget “anti-growth-oriented and anti-farmer”, which lacked imagination and the wherewithal to spur development.
“I am disappointed and unhappy with the budget which speaks of lofty ideals but no action plan to implement the provisions. Given the fact that the state government is faction-ridden, its outcome is anybody’s guess. I oppose this budget as there is a lot of lip-sympathy shown to the people without any concrete schemes,” Siddaramaiah said in his speech on the budget on Wednesday.
Stating that mere allocation did not ensure development and mere slogans would not solve problems, Siddaramaiah, who had presented budgets for five consecutive terms, said the biggest problem for the government in implementing works was non-cooperation of the bureaucracy.
“This situation is due to BJP’s in-fighting. Any government that is faction-ridden does not command the loyalty and respect of the bureaucracy, which is a sure sign of collapse of the administration. I am telling you this with my experience,” he added.
Referring to the claim made by Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda that tax collection had been increased, Siddaramaiah asked why bills worth several crores were still pending if the income was good. “I have a fear that we are moving from revenue surplus to revenue deficit. It is not enough if you claim to have presented a budget of a little over Rs 1 lakh crore. You have to tell what is the debt amount,” he said.
According to him, the state is already in debt trap, and it would be impossible for the state to recover from the trap. “There has been no prudent financial management,” Siddaramaiah added.
He said, “It is ironical that growth in agriculture and industry has come down after the government held Global Industrial Summit and Agri-Global Summit. Do you call this a progressive budget?”