Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday said the Union Budget has utterly neglected social and farm sectors. It comes as a “bitter pill” to the common man.
He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had continued to ‘sell his dreams’ through Mr. Jaitley’s budget and termed it “unrealistic”.
Noting that there was no clarity in the Budget on priorities of the 45-day-old NDA government, Mr. Siddaramaiah said it had disappointed the poor and farming community and there were no schemes to bring cheer to them.
On Mr. Modi’s ache din ayenge promise, the Chief Minister said: “I believe good times are yet to come.” The “directionless” budget has allocated a meagre sum for ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padao’ (Rs. 100 cr.), river linkage study (Rs. 100 cr.), National Adaptation Fund (Rs. 100 cr.), inland fishing (Rs. 50 cr.) and rural electrification scheme (Rs. 500 cr.). However, it allocated Rs. 200 cr. for construction of a 182 metre-tall statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Gujarat.
The farm and social sectors have been totally neglected with little allocations, he lamented.
The State had made several requests to the Centre to sanction an IIT and an All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) unit to Karnataka. An IIT has been denied to the knowledge capital of the country (Bangalore), he said. Mr. Siddaramaiah said the budget was full of big announcements, without adequate financial support and grant-in-aid.
“Though 100 smart cities have been announced, only Rs. 7,060 cr. has been earmarked. Each smart city will get about Rs. 70 crore,” he said. He said the budget has provided some relief to the salaried class by raising the personal income tax exemption limit.
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president G. Parameshwara on Thursday termed the budget “disappointing”, saying it offers nothing to the State.
In a press release, Dr. Parameshwara said there was no clarity in the budget on the continuation of several welfare schemes launched by the previous UPA government.