'Budget schemes to be re-prioritised'

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday said he will ensure availability of funds for additional and unforeseen expenditure of Rs 7,743 crores by re-prioritising various schemes and programmes of the revised budget 2013-14.

Replying to a debate on the supplementary estimates in the Assembly, he said the government is expecting revenue shortfall only in motor vehicle taxes and mining sector due to economic slowdown. The revenue target of other own tax sources will be achieved. Despite slump in the economy, the government has managed to achieve 11.5 per cent growth in overall tax collection till October in the current financial year, he added.

The government is expecting savings (unspent money) of Rs 2,500 crores in various departments. For instance, there will be saving in allocation made for recruitments and payment of salaries.

He refuted the Opposition parties’ allegations that the State’s finances are going haywire, saying that the government has been releasing money for all the budgetary schemes and programmes. The chief minister gave the details of release of funds to various schemes of the government.

Earlier, BJP floor leader Jagadish Shettar sought to know why the government wants to borrow Rs 16,500 crores from the open market. The government has failed to mobilise revenue to meet its expenditure targets, he alleged.

Appropriation Bill

However, the Assembly passed the Appropriation Bill, 2013 which seeks to authorise the government to draw Rs 7,743 crores from the consolidated fund of Karnataka.

However, the Opposition parties did not allow the government to table the Karnataka Essential Services Maintenance Bill, 2013 due to alleged procedural lapses. They raised objection to Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy tabling the bill. Instead, they wanted either the chief minister or the law minister to do so. Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa said it will be taken up on Wednesday.

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