Karnataka Budget: No Hike in Taxes, Rs 1,000 Cr for Mekedatu Project

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has proposed no increase in taxes in the Budget 2022-23 presented by him in the state Legislative Assembly on Friday.

In his maiden budget, the Chief Minister who also holds the Finance portfolio has expressed his government’s commitment for the implementation of the Mekedatu project across river Cauvery, to which neighbouring Tamil Nadu is opposed to, and has provided Rs 1,000 crore for it this year.

Sales Tax

With just a year left for the Assembly polls in the state, this is most likely to be the last full-fledged budget ahead of the elections.

“The economy in 2021-21 is on the road to recovery. In these circumstances, I am not willing to put extra burden of additional taxes on the common man,” Bommai said.

Presenting the budget in the legislative assembly, he said, tax collection targets will be achieved by ensuring all the tax departments to perform better.

The Chief Minister also said that he is not increasing the petrol and diesel rates.

“Realising the difficulties caused by the second and third wave of COVID-19 pandemic in 2021-22, sales tax on petrol and diesel was reduced in November 2021. Because of which the petrol and diesel rates had come down by Rs 7 per litre,” he noted.

Compared to other south Indian states the rates of petrol and diesel are less in Karnataka, he said, adding that “I am not intending to increase the rates in 2022-23.”

Bengaluru Drinking Water Project

Stating that the Mekedatu Balancing Reservoir and Bengaluru Drinking Water Project will be implemented by getting required clearances from the appropriate authority of central government, Bommai said, for implementation of the project, a grant of Rs 1,000 crore will be provided in the current year.

Pointing out that his government has given more importance for preservation of cattle resources and has implemented the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Act, the Chief Minister said, for the effective implementation of the act, the number of ‘Goshalas’ will be increased from the present 31 to 100 and Rs 50 crore will be provided for the purpose.

Also for the first time in the state, the government will launch ‘Punyakoti Dattu Yojane’ to encourage public and private institutions to adopt cows in the Goshalas by paying Rs 11,000 annually.

To encourage the use of farm machinery and to reduce fuel expenditure for the first time in the state, diesel subsidy at Rs 250 per acre subject to maximum for 5 acres will be given through DBT under a new scheme “Raitha Shakti” for which Rs 500 crore has been provided in the budget.

An amount of Rs 500 crore has been provided in the budget for the development of infrastructure in the government schools of the state, and priority will be given for selected aspirational taluks under this grant.

The budget also proposes to establish 438 “Namma Clinics” in major cities of the state, also they will be established in all wards of Bengaluru. In these clinics, the services of detection of non-communicable diseases and referral for higher treatment to specialists will be provided.

To enable the establishment of enterprises, entrepreneurship training will be provided in the prestigious IIM Bengaluru to 300 women graduates of SC/ST. (PTI)