I am pro-Ahinda, have no inhibitions: CM

I am pro-Ahinda, have no inhibitions: CM

I am pro-Ahinda, have no inhibitions: CM

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday said that he has no inhibitions to state that he is pro-Ahinda but he believed in inclusive growth and progress of all.

In his nearly three hour reply in the Legislative Assembly on the state budget proposals for 2017-18, he did not have any new announcements to make or relief to offer. He set aside the demand by the Opposition on farm loan waiver. However, he dropped indications that the repayment period to repay farm loans may be extended. “There is time till March 31. After that we will see....there is nothing to worry,” he said.

Siddaramaiah reiterated that he is ready to waive 50% loans raised by farmers from cooperative institutions if the Centre waived 50% loans procured from nationalised banks.

He rubbished charges made by the Opposition that the state is sliding into a debt trap and also refused to accept that he had presented an “Ahinda” or an “election budget”.

“Programmes like Anna Bhagya, Ksheera Bhagya, Vidyasiri are not restricted to any community. The charge that I have presented an Ahinda budget has no basis. If I had an eye on the elections, I would not have announced programmes like Anna Bhagya and waived farm loan within half-an-hour of taking oath of office in 2013. I would have waited till the end of my tenure and made the announcements just ahead of polls,” he said.

Siddaramaiah said the state borrowings are within fiscal limits (25% of GSDP). “There is nothing wrong in borrowing as long as it is put to good use,” he said.

Dissatisfied with the reply, BJP members staged a walkout. Both the Houses of legislature passed the Karnataka Appropriation Bill, 2017,  for an amount of  Rs 48,729 crore for a period till July 31 this year (vote on account) and other consequential bills by a voice vote.