Former Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly, Siddaramaiah on Thursday took a dig at the BJP government and accused Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa of indulging in vendetta politics. Siddaramaiah accused the BJP of perpetrating “injustice to Karnataka” by not demanding that the Centre allocate more funds to Karnataka for the 2020-21 fiscal.
In 2019-20, Karnataka had expected to receive Rs 17,249 crore as GST (Goods and Services Tax) compensation, but the state has received only Rs 8,815 crore, said the Congress leader.
“We haven’t received GST compensation, we have not received money for rehabilitation of victims of floods, we have not received any grants from the Centre. We stand third in the country in paying the maximum amount of taxes to the Centre. How will you carry out developmental works? This year everything will be stopped. The 15th Finance Commission has said that Karnataka’s allocation of funds from the Centre will reduce by over Rs 11,000 crore,” Siddaramaiah said.
Siddaramaiah said that since the 15th Finance Commission’s recommendations will come into effect from the 2020-21 fiscal, Karnataka would lose out on huge sums of money.
“In 2019-20 Karnataka received devolution from the Centre amounting to Rs 39,591 crore. For the 2020-21 fiscal, Karnataka is getting only Rs 28,598 crore. If this continues, then in the next five years, we will lose close to Rs 60,000 crore. How do you develop the state then? Will Karnataka see development then? Is Rs 60,000 crore a small amount? Allocation must increase and not decrease every year,” Siddaramaiah said.
The former CM said that the state is projected to see a 14% growth in the amount of taxes paid tax growth in the 2020-21 fiscal and accused the Yediyurappa government of lack of political will to oppose the Centre’s decisions.
“If we give Re 1 to the Centre, we get back 42 paise. But UP will receive 198 paise and Gujarat gets 235 paise back. People keep praising Gujarat saying Gujarat model of development is the best. That is because they are getting more funds. But we are not getting back what we are giving. Where are we? Where do we stand? All ministers in the government must read about this. Is this not injustice for our state? We have not fought for our rights politically and the lack of political will had brought us here,” he said.
Siddaramaiah also argued that going by principles of federalism, Karnataka is receiving the short end of the stick and demanded that the BJP leaders in the state question the Centre’s decision to implement the 15th Finance Commission’s recommendations.
“All Finance Commissions have said that because the population is more in those states, they will get more allocation. No one has opposed this view so far and we must. Gujarat is a fairly developed state, why should they get more money now? Why did you (CM Yediyurappa) not get the compensation back? Why did the Centre bring in GST in such a hurried manner? This is the fallout of all these bad policies,” he said.