K'taka seeks advance assistance

During the meeting of state finance ministers convened by  Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Karnataka Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister S Suresh Kumar said the Centre should consider relaxing the fiscal responsibility and budget management norms to facilitate additional borrowings by states to meet their expenditure commitments.

To bail out the IT sector from the proposed US legislation on outsourcing, the state government urged the Centre to extend the Software Technology Park India (STPI) scheme by at least five years.

The same should be extended to semiconductor and electronic hardware industries also, he said.

Suresh Kumar, who participated in the meeting on behalf of chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, said due to the slowdown in many sectors, the State’s tax revenue grew by a mere six per cent in nominal terms during the year 2008-09.

For the past six months, there has been a negative growth of almost 10 per cent in commercial tax and stamp duty, he said.

The garment industry has been severely hit and there is a need to take some immediate steps, as over five lakh workers were employed, he said.

The slowdown also affected construction sector, IT industry and small and medium industries, Suresh Kumar said. Due to a shortfall in the revenue, the State government had to effect a 20 per cent cut in its plan expenditure, he said.
DH News Service

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