While the budget promised Rs 1500 cr for the last two financial years, only Rs 1,000 cr has been allotted so far.

Unhappy with fund cut Hyderabad-Karnataka Region Development Board to meet CMFile image
news Crime Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - 14:39

In the last two years, the Karnataka government, previously headed by Siddaramaiah and currently by HD Kumaraswamy, promised Rs 1,500 crore to develop the Hyderabad-Karnataka region. However, Minister of Mines and Geology and Yadgir district-in-charge, Rajshekhar B Patil, who is also the chairman of the Hyderabad-Karnataka Region Development Board, said that only Rs 1,000 crore has been granted.

“They have released only Rs 1,000 crores although Rs 1,500 crore was promised in the budget, both by the Siddaramaiah government and the Kumaraswamy government, for 2017-18 and 2018-19. I will meet the CM and the Deputy CM before the winter session of the Assembly in Belagavi and point out the difference in announcements and the grant received,” Rajshekhar told TNM.

“They have to give what is promised. We are not asking for any extra funds. The Finance Department has asked the Regional Commissioner to only plan expenditure for only Rs 1,000 crore. It is my duty to ask why the money promised in the budget has not been released,” he added.

The issue for developing the backward region of Hyderabad-Karnataka, which comprises Ballari, Bidar, Kalburgi, Yadgir, Koppal and Raichur, has been a politically sensitive issue. The region also has been the hotbed of movements, seeking a separate state for the entire north Karnataka region, which has been alleged to have been neglected to successive governments. And be it the Lok Sabha or Assembly elections in Karnataka, both the BJP and the Congress have always raked up the issue.

The board was formed in 2013 after the constitutional amendment was brought about to give special status (Article 371J)  to the region owing to special development needs of the historically backward state. It is the second largest arid region in the country and the majority of the taluks have remained backwards since Independence. With the special status, people living in the area have reservations (8%) in state government jobs and the state government-run educational institutions across the state.

When asked if any big ticket project will be hampered, Rajshekhar said the funds are released only to the respective districts and zilla panchayats, and the chairman of the board has only 1% quota of the total funds.

Reacting to this, activist Razak Ustaad, leader of the Hyderabad-Karnataka Horata Samiti, which advocates the cause of a separate state for the region, claimed curtailing of funds is not the only issue affecting the functioning of the board.

“The Rs 1,000 crore budgetary allocation figure includes special scheme plans and budgetary allocations for SC/ST development, similar to rest of the state. Hence, after the expenditure, the Board is left with only Rs 400 crore,” Razak said.  

He further pointed out, “The Board started functioning in November 2015, but it was only on Saturday that the board met for the first time. Even the fund, which has been allotted, remains unspent as there is no proper manpower on the board. There is no separate secretary and the regional commissioner is made to handle the board as his additional duty.”

Razak also claimed while the total amount allocated for the board since its inception is Rs 6,150 crore, the board has received only Rs 2,928 crore, out of which, Rs 2,745 crore has been spent.  

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.