K'taka will get its share of central taxes, says CM

K'taka will get its share of central taxes, says confident CM

Allaying fears that Karnataka will be shortchanged in its share of central taxes, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said Tuesday he was confident that the state would get its money and that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman “is on our side.” 

Yediyurappa, who gave his reply to the Budget discussion to empty Opposition benches, said he had spoken with Nirmala. 

Karnataka is set to lose Rs 8,887 crore through devolution of taxes under the 15th Finance Commission and Rs 3,000 of GST compensation. “In order to get this Rs 11,887 crore, I have already spoken with the Union Finance minister. We expect to get our money,” Yediyurappa said.

The chief minister said the 15th Finance Commission had reduced the state’s share in central taxes from 4.71% to 3.64% in order to prioritise poorer states such as Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. “Karnataka has had to pay the price for being a developed state. But I have spoken to the Union finance minister and she has assured  me of justice.” 

Commenting on Nirmala rejecting a special grant of Rs 5,495 crore to Karnataka, the chief minister said it was due to new rules framed by the 15th Finance Commission. “The Union finance minister is on our side and we’re confident that the money will be released as soon as possible,” he said. 

In saying all this, Yediyurappa was referring to statements made by Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah, who had come down heavily on the ruling BJP on cuts in devolution of taxes. 

“Siddaramaiah also said that I would wear a green shawl to present a pro-farmer budget, but it turned out to be saffronised instead. I want to tell Siddaramaiah that saffron is the symbol of sacrifice,” Yediyurappa said.

“Agriculture and irrigation are my priorities. Despite financial limitations, I have kept Rs 21,308 crore for irrigation,” he said. 

Acknowledging the fiscal stress, Yediyurappa said committed expenditure (salaries, pension etc) had touched 90% of revenue receipts. “Our government has constituted a Cabinet sub-committee to review the human resource requirement of various departments. By merging various departments, steps will be taken to utilise human resources better. Thereby, we expect to reduce the burden of salaries and pensions,” he said.

He again reiterated that the government will face any financial difficulty. “Come what may, there’ll be no dearth of funds for development works.”  The Appropriation Bill (Budget) was passed by both Houses. 

 

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