Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa hailed the Union Budget 2020 as "pro-people, pro-farmer and pro-poor" on Saturday.
"For the first time in the history of the country, priority has been given to farmers, poor and rural areas. This is a boon to the farmers. The programmes announced for the farming sector compliment the Prime Minister's vision to double the income of farmers," said Yediyurappa.
He recognized that agriculture has been discussed in such detail for the first time in the Budget.
"Providing Rs 2.83 lakh crore to the agriculture sector is a major deviation from the routine budgetary allocations. Kisan Rail and Kisan Udan will facilitate speedy transportation and export of perishable agricultural products and this, in turn, will boost farmers' income," he said.
Praising the budget plan to undertake water conservation measures in 100 water-stressed districts, constituting one-fifth of the country's area will help farmers in those districts where underground water has been almost exhausted, he said.
However, the budget was criticised by former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. He stated that for growth to be achieved, the agriculture sector needed to get an allocation of at least 10% of the budget. The allocation announced was 2.5%. Siddaramaiah added that the Opposition had sought the waiver of farmer loans in nationalised banks but it was not implemented.
However, solar energy production and Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthan (PM-KUSUM), a scheme to energise pump-sets through solar energy, was announced. The scheme aims to help over 20 lakh farmers.
Yediyurappa also welcomed the decision to approve Bengaluru suburban rail whose funding up to 40 per cent will be shared by the state and the Centre, with the balance coming from external assistance.
The Finance Minister allocated Rs 18,000 crore for the 148-km-long Bengaluru suburban railway line on Saturday in her Budget speech.
"This will boost the infrastructure facilities in Bengaluru which has turned out to be a favourite investment destination for the MNCs. This will help us to eliminate traffic congestion in this investment-friendly city," said Yediyurappa.
Joining corporates, the chief minister highlighted that measures to eliminate harassment of taxpayers will be a big relief. He also supported the reduction of income tax rates in almost all slabs.
WIth IANS inputs