'Siddu misleading people on fiscal status during previous govts'
Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly H D Kumaraswamy on Monday accused Chief Minister Siddaramaiah of misleading the State legislature and the people by repeatedly stating that the financial position of the State had deteriorated during the tenures of the JD(S)-BJP and the BJP governments.
Participating in discussions on the budget proposals for 2013-14 in the Assembly, Kumaraswamy pointed out that Siddaramaiah had passed caustic remarks against the previous governments in his budget speech, blaming them for high market borrowings and failure to increase revenue, which had resulted in stunted economic growth. The chief minister had made similar statements at various public forums, Kumaraswamy said.
However, the Medium Term Fiscal Plan 2013-17, tabled along with the budget in the legislature painted a different picture indicating that the JD(S)-BJP government (2006-07) and the BJP government (2008-13) had maintained good financial discipline.
“Your statement in the budget is contradictory to the figures mentioned in the Medium Term Fiscal Plan. Who should the people believe? It is unfortunate that you are misleading the people and this House. You should clarify,” Kumaraswamy said.
Both the previous dispensations had met all the parameters stipulated by the Karnataka Fiscal Responsibility Act, Kumaraswamy said. These include maintaining fiscal deficit within three per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP), total liability within 25.2 per cent of the GSDP and total outstanding guarantee within 80 per cent of the total outstanding receipts.
Kumaraswamy said while Siddaramaiah had blamed the previous governments of going in for high market borrowing, the chief minister had proposed to borrow Rs 17,000 crore this fiscal, the highest ever by any government.