Describing the revised Budget presented by him in the Karnataka Assembly on Friday as the ‘most balanced, inclusive and growth oriented,’ Chief Minister Siddaramaiah expressed confidence that he would achieve it ‘cent per cent’ in the current fiscal itself.
At his post-Budget press conference, Siddaramaiah told reporters that he has accommodated 60 out of over 180 promises made in the party’s poll manifesto of the May 5 elections.
Stating that he had given thrust to spur up agriculture, infrastructure, health, education, power, social welfare as well as the development of the Bangalore city, he strongly defended his decision to deviate from his predecessors who had presented a separate ‘agri-Budget.’
Siddaramaiah, who had retained almost all the schemes launched during the BJP-regime, said that the distribution of bicycles for government school children and Bhagyalakshmi programme envisaged to discourage female infanticide and to reduce school dropout rate of girl would continue.
Refuting the Opposition charges that he had utilised the occasion to criticise previous government, Siddaramaiah said: “I have only tried to present the financial conditions that prevailed in the state in the last five years. Former chief minister and the BJP group leader in the Karnataka Assembly had failed to understand my real intention.”
Expressing confidence that he would implement all the proposals cent per cent, he said that the plan size of the state, which was pegged earlier at `47,000 crore for 2013-14 was revised to `48,685 crore.
Stating that the fiscal deficit rate was maintained with a healthy rate, which is well within the Fiscal Responsibility Act, CM said that the total debt of the state which stood at `67,000 crore in 2005-06 is expected to reach `1,36,078 crore at the end of 2013-14. Reiterating his government’s commitment to spend over `50,000 crore for irrigation sector in the next five years, he said that over 10 lakh hectares of additional land will be brought under irrigation in the next five years.
Exuding confidence to achieve the irrigation target, the CM said that there is no problem in achieving it as there is no fund shortage.
He also promised to frame rules for the effective implementation of the spirit of Article 371(J) of the Constitution, envisaged to confer special status to the Hyderabad-Karnataka region, soon.