With the state to go for polls in less than four months, the Karnataka government, in its last state budget ahead of the elections announced what political observers call a ‘please all’ budget.
"Ours is a government which has delivered on the promises we made. A son of a poor farmer is getting a chance to present his 13th budget. I bow to Dr BR Ambedkar for this. Karnataka's GSDP growth zooms from 7.5% in 2016-17 to 8.5% in 2017-18. This shows that the state's economy is in excellent shape," said Siddaramaiah.
Putting emphasis on the government’s commitment to farmers, the chief minister said, “I'm a farmer's son and I know the problems faced by the farmers.”
“I picture the person who needs help, the farmer who needs hope and the girl who has a dream. I am guided by Basavanna, Ambedkar, Gandhi," the CM added.
To provide debt relief to farmers affected by successive droughts, the Karnataka government announced a debt waiver scheme with a total implication of Rs 8165 cr, which will benefit 22,27,506 farmers.
“Farmers can get a loan of Rs 10 lakh at 3% interest. To provide debt relief to farmers affected by successive droughts, there will be a loan waiver scheme with a total implication of Rs.8165 cr, benefiting 22,27,506 farmers,” the CM announced.
This year’s budget estimate saw an increase of 12.12% as compared to the estimate of Rs 1,86,561 crore for 2017-18.
The government also announced that it would ensure employment to job seekers and set aside for Rs 794 for skill development and entrepreneurship.
In the budget, Bengaluru got an allocation of Rs 2500 crore.
An additional 1000 beds will be added at the Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute. An allocation of Rs 50 crore was announced for the rejuvenation of the Bellandur lake.
The budget also had many initiatives for the upliftment of women.
CM Siddaramaiah also announced many sops for SCs, STs, OBCs and other minorities.
Here are the other highlights of the election budget: