CM Claims Budget is well-balanced and growth-oriented

Bengaluru, March 13, 2015: Karnataka CM Mr Siddaramaiah termed his Budget for 2015-16 as a “well balanced and growth oriented” Budget despite cuts in Central grants.

The CM claimed that he has “protected” all the welfare schemes by funding them from the state’s own resources.

Mr Siddaramaiah took pride that he has managed to maintain fiscal discipline even after ensuring substantial grants for welfare programmes. “Fiscal deficit is expected to be Rs 20,220 crore for the 2015-16 financial year which is 2.75 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP), which is below the 3 per cent cap fixed by the Fiscal Responsibility Act. Similarly total liabilities of the state at Rs 1.80 lakh crore is estimated to be 24.56 per cent of the GSDP, which is well within the limit of 25 per cent mandated in the Act,” he said. The Budget size of Rs 1,42,534 crore is 3.27 per cent bigger than Rs 1,36,249 crore for 2014-15. The Plan Size for 2015-16 has been fixed at Rs 72,597 crore, which is an increase of 10.67 per cent compared to last year which was Rs 65,600 crore, he added.

Rs 600 cr Additional Tax Burden
The CM hopes to raise about 500-600 crore additional resources through new tax proposals, which includes increase in sales tax by 1 per cent on petrol and diesel.”The price of petrol will go up by about 1 per litre and diesel will cost about 50 paise more per litre. But still the fuel price in Karnataka will be less than the prices in neighboring Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Kerala,” Mr Siddaramaiah said.

Slum Cess on Property Tax
Replying to a question about Slum Cess, the CM said it would be levied on Property Tax being paid by the citizens. The exact quantum of the cess would be announced soon, he added.