Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that despite a doubling in size of the Union budget over the past six years, there hasn’t been a proportional increase in grants to the state. The statement comes ahead of Congress’s planned protest in New Delhi on February 7 against reduced allocations. Siddaramaiah said, “While the Union government’s budget increased from Rs 21.46 lakh crore in 2017-18 to Rs 45.03 lakh crore in 2023-24, there hasn’t been much change in state’s allocation.”
The total amount collected annually from Karnataka by Union as taxes, cesses and surcharges was around Rs 4.3 lakh crore but the state has been allotted only Rs 50,257 crores. “While their budget grew, the devolution of taxes and grants to states should also have increased but that hasn’t happened. In Fact for every Rs 100 collected in taxes, Karnataka only receives Rs 12 or 13 in return.” Siddaramaiah said.
He further said, “From 14th Finance Commission to 15th Finance Commission, the allocation of funds to Karnataka has been reduced by 1.07%. In the last four years, Karnataka faced challenges with reduced tax devolutions resulting in a loss of Rs 45,000 crore.” He further said that according to estimates this year cash allocation for Karnataka will be reduced by Rs 62,098 crores.”
He added that in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022, the state lost around Rs 11,494 crores in the absence of special grants. “Overall in the 15th Finance Commission the state’s share has decreased by Rs 73,593 crore.” the Chief Minister said.
The Chief Minister also demanded the immediate release of funds for the Upper Bhadra project which aims to irrigate 2.50 lakh hectares of land, amounting to Rs 5,300 crore, announced by Finance Minister Niramala Sitharaman. He said that the gazette notification for Mahadayi project has also been finalised but the environment clearance is not given by the Union government. He also highlighted pending projects such as the Upper Krishna, and Mekedatu, urging the Union government to expedite necessary clearances.
He also said that the state government has presented several memorandums to the Union government concerning the critical drought conditions in Karnataka. Siddaramaiah mentioned that the agricultural losses amount to Rs 35,000 crore. He further said that Karnataka has appealed to the Union government for the release of Rs 17,901 crore from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), but no relief has been provided yet.
The Chief Minister also criticised BJP leaders including former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and Basavaraj Bommai for not advocating for the release of Rs 1.87 lakh crore. “Leader of Opposition R Ashoka does not even have any idea about it. Ministers Pralhad Joshi, Shobha Karandlaje, Bhagwant Khuba have also not raised their voice. Finance Minister Niramala Sitharaman who got elected from Karnataka as MP is also not doing anything for the release of funds to Karnataka. I do hope that the state will get justice following our protests in New Delhi on February 7,” he said.