With the focus on technology and women empowerment, this year’s Karnataka Budget is a significant one as the state resurges from the pandemic. Despite the shortage in revenue collection due to economic slowdown and reduction in the devolution of central funds to the state under the GST regime, Karnataka has implemented an innovative strategy to mobilise resources to keep the state on track. This year’s budget, announced on International Women’s Day, has envisaged a vigorous economy on the basis of the strength of our women.
The implementation of “Elevate Women Entrepreneurship” programme with an expenditure of Rs 5 crore will support women entrepreneurs. Additionally, the loan facility of up to Rs 2 crore at a subsidised rate of 4 per cent through Woman Development Board/ Karnataka State Finance Corporation is a direct push to enable more women to create startups and aid job creation. Provisions made for technical support to small enterprises run by women will encourage them to join the workforce in larger numbers.
The recently-announced Karnataka State policy for Engineering, Research, and Development (ER&D) will be one of the significant growth catalysts in the coming days. We are confident that the government will continue to work closely with the ER&D industry to take necessary steps to encourage more investments in the state to keep Karnataka in the pole position in this sector. The provision made to provide vocational training to students -- between 14 and 18 years -- of 100 Karnataka Public Schools should be applauded as it helps create an industry-ready workforce for the future.
Apart from this, the comprehensive development plan for Bengaluru will be a booster for the technology sector. The suburban rail project and peripheral ring road will definitely ease the commute within the city. The expansion of Kempegowda International Airport and the focus to improve tourism will attract more people to the state and the city.As the economy trots back to normal, this budget should pave the way to more inclusive growth and provide an impetus to the overall development of the state.