Continuing old budget may breach MLAs' privilege: HDK

Continuing old budget may breach MLAs' privilege: HDK

Kumaraswamy will present his budget on July 5.(DH Photo)

With ten days to go for the State government to present its budget, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, on Monday, revealed that the debate on whether or not he should present a full budget was still on.

“Should I present a budget or not is still being talked about,” Kumaraswamy said while addressing a meeting of cooperative banks to discuss crop loan waiver, a poll promise he is determined to fulfill.

This comes a day after a video showing former chief minister Siddaramaiah frowning upon Kumaraswamy presenting a new budget was aired on news channels.

Earlier, Siddaramaiah had publicly said that there was no need for a full-fledged budget as he had already presented one in February 2018. He said Kumaraswamy could present a supplementary budget if at all he wanted to announce new schemes.

Kumaraswamy said continuing the previous budget could amount to a breach of privilege of newly-elected legislators. “Many legislators who gave their vote on account for the budget tabled in February went on to lose (in the May 12 election). Should we continue with the same vote? Won’t that breach the privilege of new legislators,” the CM rhetorically asked.

Kumaraswamy has announced that he will present his budget on July 5.

The Congress-JD(S) government was committed to waiving crop loans, Kumaraswamy asserted. “We’re ready to do whatever it takes. The deputy chief minister, ministers and legislators are supporting this,” he said. “It’s not important how long I’m around. It’s important what we are able to do while we’re here.”

Kumaraswamy warned Finance department officials for trying to impress upon nationalised banks against lowering their interest rates. “Some nationalised banks feel that this government may not be around till the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. They have expressed concern that a new government may change its policy,” he said.

The CM urged cooperative banks to help with implement a loan waiver that would “directly benefit” the farmer. “I don’t get any commission for waiving loans, but I have information on those who do,” he said.