Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy who was keen on presenting a full fledged budget instead of a supplementary budget as suggested by former CM Siddaramaiah, announced a Rs 34,000 crore farm loan waiver scheme on Thursday.
The much anticipated farm loan waiver will nullify loans up to Rs 2 lakh per family taken from recognised financial institutions and defaulted up to December 31, 2017. Moreover, as an encouragement to the non-defaulting farmers, the farmers will credit the repaid loan amount or Rs 25,000 to them, whichever is less, announced the CM.
The farm loan waiver was along expected lines after Kumaraswamy had himself promised to waive loans farmers within 24 hours of coming to power.
But despite increased pressure from the opposition BJP, it took time for Kumaraswamy to come to an agreement on the matter with his coalition partners, the Congress.
Kumaraswamy has tried to balance the spending on farm loan waiver with increased taxation on fuel, alcohol, vehicles and power usage. This will certainly hurt the common man.
In order to meet a revised excise revenue target of Rs 19,750 crore, the budget has proposed Additional Excise Duty on Indian Made Liquor by 4 percent on all 18 slabs. Similarly, the taxation on consumption of electricity increased to 9%; the rate of taxation on consumption of captive energy increased to 20 paise per unit.
The motor vehicle taxes have also been increased by 50% based on square metre of floor area while sales tax on petrol and diesel will be raised by 2%. This means that petrol and diesel will be taxed at 32% and 21% respectively.
Besides new schemes, all welfare schemes of the Siddaramaiah government will be continued, announced CM Kumaraswamy.
Here are the other highlights of the budget
- Public transport service to be strengthened Grant of direct subsidy of Rs.100 crore to Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation.
- 4236 new buses for public use. Out of this, under the Karnataka Government Electric Vehicle Policy â€“ 2017, 80 electric buses to be operated through Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation.
- 95 km length routes under stage 3 of â€˜Namma Metroâ€™ Rail scheme under implementation.
- Establishment of an Integrated Road Transport Authority under the chairmanship of Chief Minister to formulate a comprehensive working and action plan.
- Construction of six interconnected elevated corridors at a cost of Rs.825 crore under hybrid annuity to provide good transport communication in Bengaluru.
Employment and Skill development
- Rs 15 cr to be spent on employment based technical education for 5,000 SC/ST students
- Rs 2 cr to provided for SC/ST sport persons for training prestigious institutes
- Rs 10 lakh financial assistance to 5,000 SC/ST unemployed youths to take up income generating activities
- Rs 5cr for Kayakas to help 3,000 self help groups to increase self employment opportunities
- Rs 2cr supprt to entrepreneurs under Disha scheme
- New medical college in Kanakapura
- Rs 30cr for upgradation of Mandya Medical Science Institute to 800 bed hospital
- Rs 12cr for establishment of bone marrow transplant centre at Kidwai cancer hospital
- Super specialty hospitals in Belagavi, Kalaburgi and Mysuru to treat heart, cancer and related diseases
- New 450 bed hospitals to come up in Gadag, Koppal, Chamarajanagar and Hassan
- Rs 150 cr special package for developing and maintaining govt schools and PU colleges, create English medium classes in 1000 Kannada Primary Schools and installation of biometric attendance system in 48,000 schools
- Rs 250cr package for developing infrastructure in govt graduate and post-graduate colleges
- Another Rs 9cr for three new Universitiesâ€” Sports in Tumakuru, Homeland Security in Shivamogga and Tourism in Hampi
- Rs 3cr to open crowdfunding portal to seek assistance from old students to seek assistance from old students of schools under CSR
- Rs 3 crore to be spent on establishing a silk cocoon market in Mysuru and an additional Rs 2 crore for creating marketing opportunities for silk by-products. Rs 5 cr wil be spent to rejuvenate of Karnataka Silk industrial Centre at Channapatna
- Rs 150 cr for adoption of Israel model of drip irrigation in horticulture sector in Karwar, Tumakuru, Yadgir and Haveri
- Assistance of Rs 190 cr to coconut workers.