Budget 2017 receives mixed reactions in coastal district

The 12th budget presented on Wednesday by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has received mixed reactions in the coastal district.

Prof G V Joshi, professor of Economics at Nitte Institute of Management and former member of Karnataka State Planning Board said that the chief minister’s budget speach clearly showed that the state is all set to implement GST from July 2017.

Though the budgetary allocation for Paschima Vahini project is only Rs 100 crore, the state government has realised the importance of the project in the coastal districts that lack major irrigation projects.

However, the budget has undermined the importance of infrastructure, especially in the power sector, Joshi said. “Though the chief minister himself had stated that there is potential for growth in Karnataka, the budgetary allocation for infrastructure does not go hand in hand in tapping the potential of the state. At a time when agriculture sector is plagued with several problems, the budgetary allocation does not give a boost to the agriculture sector. It was a populist budget presented by the chief minister. The shortcomings of the budget have eclipsed the merit of the budget,” he felt.

‘Good budget’
KCCI president Jeevan Saldanha said the earmarking grant to Belagavi, Davanagere, Hubballi-Dharwad, Shivamogga, Mangaluru and Tumakuru covered under the Smart City Mission is a welcome move. The carving of two taluks—Kadaba and Moodbidri—will lead to better administration. Enhancement of loan limits advanced to women entrepreneurs by KSFC at 4% interest rate, from Rs 50 lakhs to Rs 2 crore will benefit the women entrepreneurs.

‘No succour for farmers’
President of Dakshina Kannada unit of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) Ravikiran Punacha termed the budget as disappointing as the chief minister has failed to announce any succour for farmers in distress. “At a time when 160 taluks in the state are reeling under drought, we farmers had lot of expectations from the state budget. We were hopeful of partial loan waiver borrowed by the farmers. The budget is not favourable for farming community in the state.”

With the budget announcement that National Annual Surfing Festival will be held at Sasihithlu beach in Mangaluru, Surfing Federation of India vice president Rammohan Paranjape said that this will surely boost surfing activities in the coastal region. “Hope the announcement translates to reality at the earliest. We have been promoting surfing in the region and the number of people showing interest in surfing has been increasing over the years.” 

Setting up Beary Study Centre in Mangalore University will promote the study of Beary language and its culture. Karnataka Beary Sahitya Academy had recently met the chief minister Siddaramaiah and had urged him to set up a study chair at the university, said Beary Academy president B A Mohammed Haneef.

Terming the state budget as the Congress election manifesto, BJP leader Vedavyasa Kamath said that though the formation of Moodbidri and Kadaba taluks were announced by previous BJP government, the chief minister had failed to implement in the four years and announced new taluks in the budget. The budget has announced an RTO office in Bantwal while there are not enough staff in Mangaluru RTO office. The budget has not made any proposal on Janata Theatre and failed to waive the loans borrowed by the farmers, he said.

‘Overall development’
Stating that the state budget has given priority to overall development of the state, District In-charge Minister Ramanath Rai said the budget has touched all walks of life. To support mechanisation in farming, the budget has announced setting up of 174 rural farm equipment/seva kendra. To help the Gulf-returned unemployed persons, the state government has proposed to implement the Kerala model.

Rai said the long-pending demand of authorities to develop the 169-year-old district Government Wenlock Hospital has received a boost with the chief minister announcing that the hospital would be upgraded at a cost of Rs 10 crore. In addition, a regional and upgraded children health institute on the model of Indira Gandhi Children’s Hospital in Bengaluru will be established at the Wenlock hospital at a cost of Rs 3 crore, he said.

Minister for Food and Civil Supplies U T Khader said that chief minister has not only presented a populist budget but also a practical budget. The programmes have been announced keeping in mind the welfare of the society. The long-pending demands of carving Kadaba and Moodbidri taluks have been realised through the budget.

MLA Mohiuddin Bava said the budget has given justice to fishermen community. For the integrated development fishermen community, the government has announced the setting up of Ambigara Chowdaiah Development Corporation.

The budget has also announced submission of proposal to Government of India for the expansion of Mangalore International Airport including acquisition of 286 acres of land and promised to provide necessary facilities by the state government.

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