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"State economy is estimated to grow at 6.6 per cent (constant prices) in 2023-24", says Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah unveiled the state's financial roadmap for the fiscal year 2024-25, with a budget outlay of Rs 3.71 lakh crore.
The Chief Minister highlighted that Karnataka's economy is estimated to grow at 6.6 per cent in FY 2025, despite challenges posed by external factors.
CM Siddaramaiah's 15th budget address showcased a commitment to address pressing issues faced by the state, ranging from traffic congestion to water scarcity, and emphasized the importance of inclusive development.
The budget outlined a comprehensive roadmap for economic development, infrastructure enhancement, social welfare, and the promotion of emerging sectors.
CM Siddaramaiah said, "It is my privilege to present my 15th budget on the occasion of 75 years of India becoming a Republic."
The Karnataka government has earmarked Rs 5,550 crore for the implementation of the Cauvery Phase-5 project, aimed at supplying drinking water.
According to the budget document, the Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board is scheduled to activate the project in May 2024, boasting a capacity of 775 MLD.
The initiative aims to deliver 110 litres of drinking water daily to 12 lakh people, with the estimated cost mentioned in the budget document.
A collaboration with the Japanese government will see the implementation of an Area Traffic Signal Control System at 28 key intersections in Bengaluru.
Utilizing cutting-edge technology, this system aims to decrease vehicle congestion at traffic signals by 30 per cent and reduce average delays by 13 per cent, as outlined in the budget statement.
The Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah, has declared an allocation of Rs 15,611 crore for Namma Metro Phase-3 as part of efforts to enhance public transportation in the densely populated city of Bengaluru.
The State Government has granted administrative approval for the Phase-3 works, estimating a cost of Rs 15,611 crore, pending approval from the Central Government.
Additionally, plans include the incorporation of 1,334 new electric buses and 820 diesel buses into the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation's (BMTC) fleet in the near future.
Infrastructure projects in Bengaluru, such as the Skydeck and Namma Metro, are receiving a boost.
According to the budget document, renowned international architects have been invited to design a distinctive 250-meter-high skydeck in Bengaluru, anticipated to become a prominent tourist attraction in the city.
Furthermore, the Chief Minister announced an expansion of the metro system, with an additional 44 km of metro line to be added to the existing 74 km by March 2025.
Highlighting the significance of the Namma Metro Rail project as one of the country's premier metro services, he emphasized its crucial role as the backbone of Bengaluru's transportation network, serving over eight lakh people daily.
Expectations for Bengaluru in the upcoming year include the construction of all-weather roads and the initiation of the Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) project, estimated at Rs 27,000 crore.
The government plans to utilize the canal buffer zone to build all-weather roads in the city. As part of this initiative, a 100 km road is already under development at a cost of Rs 200 crore, with an additional 100 km of roads slated for construction in the current year.
Simultaneously, the government aims to commence the PRR project, proposing the construction of a 73-km road at a cost of Rs 27,000 crore, using the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model.
The official budget document outlines the commencement of this project within the year.
Siddaramaiah is honing in on the enhancement of 'Brand Bengaluru,' with a primary focus on alleviating traffic congestion, constructing high-quality roads, ensuring a clean water supply, and improving public transportation to create a more pristine and attractive Bengaluru in the current year.
The key initiatives include- The completion of white-topping major roads covering a length of 147 km at a cost of Rs 1,700 crore by December 2025, the implementation of underground tunnels on a trial basis at the notorious Hebbal junction, known for its substantial traffic congestion, the proposition to reposition the Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) as the Bengaluru Business Corridor, aiming to mitigate traffic congestion and foster extensive economic activities.
A sum of Rs 5,000 crore has been allocated for the advancement of the Kalyana Karnataka region.
The plan involves the execution of schemes totaling Rs 5,000 crore under the Kalyana Karnataka Region Development Board, with a specific emphasis on infrastructure development throughout the fiscal year 2024-25.
The government has outlined plans for the development of pilgrimage destinations, with a notable allocation of Rs 200 crore earmarked for the Christian community.
In addition to this substantial fund, Rs 20 crore will be directed towards providing essential facilities at major pilgrimage sites within the state.
Furthermore, a construction project for the Mangaluru Haj Bhavan, estimated at Rs 10 crore, is set to enhance facilities for the Haj pilgrimage.
The Jain community's major pilgrimage destinations are also targeted for development, with a provision of Rs 50 crore dedicated to this initiative.
The government aims to promote cultural and linguistic inclusivity by translating the Tripitakas, the sacred texts of the Buddhist community, into Kannada.
Financial empowerment of the Sikligar community is on the agenda as well, with a dedicated allocation of Rs 2 crore for targeted schemes.
Addressing the needs of various religious communities, a development grant of Rs 1 crore has been allocated for the Shri Nanak Jhira Saheb Gurudwara in Bidar.
These initiatives underscore the government's commitment to fostering religious and cultural growth while ensuring the well-being of diverse communities within the state.
The budget document has announced a dedicated allocation of Rs 100 crore for the development of Wakf properties throughout the state.
This funding will specifically prioritize the protection and conservation of the protected monuments that are under the maintenance of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
Taking a detailed look at educational initiatives for minorities, the government plans to establish 50 Morarji Desai Residential Schools, each with a capacity of 50 students.
Additionally, 100 post-matric boys/girls hostels will be initiated, accommodating 100 students each, and a further 100 new Maulana Azad Schools are slated to be opened.
In the healthcare sector, the government is set to embark on the construction of seven new taluk hospitals, allocating Rs 280 crore for this purpose.
Anekal, Nelamangala, Hoskote, Shringeri, Khanapura, Shirahatti, and Yelandur will benefit from the establishment of 100-bedded taluk hospitals under this initiative.
Siddaramaiah is focused on luring international expertise in the fields of AI, semiconductors, robotics, and automobiles. He envisions the transformation of Bengaluru into a genuinely global city, boasting top-tier infrastructure.
The government aims to draw global corporate talent from emerging sectors such as IT and BT, artificial intelligence, robotics, semiconductors, automobiles, and other burgeoning industries.
Siddaramaiah is determined for Bengaluru to set an example and lead the country in these fields, emphasizing this commitment as their mission, referred to as "Kayaka."
CM Siddaramaiah is inclined towards augmenting class sizes in government schools. In the education sector, he announced the introduction of Class 6 in all schools currently offering classes from 1st to 5th standard, and Class 8 will be initiated in schools operating from 1st to 7th standard.
The student capacity in each class will be expanded from 25 to 40, as per his statement.
In the presentation of a revenue deficit budget, Siddaramaiah defended his decision, stating that despite the deficit, the allocation for welfare programs has been increased to Rs 1,20,373 crore.
This highlights the government's commitment to prioritize welfare initiatives.
Members of the saffron party staged a walkout from the state Assembly during the budget presentation, indicating their disapproval of the financial plan.
Bengaluru is slated to establish a destitute shelter, Nirashritara Parihara Kendra, in East Bengaluru, given the city's rapid expansion and increasing number of destitutes.
The shelter, with a capacity for 500 individuals, will be constructed at a cost of Rs 10 crore, as outlined in the budget statement.
Additionally, plans include the development of a Mother and Child Hospital building along with other infrastructure facilities at the premises of K.C. General Hospital in Bengaluru.
This initiative is estimated to cost Rs 150 crore, according to the budget statement.
A sum of Rs 2,710 crore has been allocated for the construction of schools and hostels for Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, Backward Classes, and Minority Residential Schools and Hostels.
CM Siddaramaiah announced that this funding will be used to develop a total of 29 residential school complexes across various departments, with an estimated cost of Rs 638 crore.
Furthermore, Siddaramaiah has earmarked Rs 39,121 crore for the welfare of the SC/ST community.
Within this allocation, Rs 27,674 crore is designated for the Scheduled Caste Sub-Plan in the fiscal year 2024-25, and an additional Rs 11,447 crore is allocated for the Scheduled Tribe sub-project.
This comprehensive initiative aims to address the diverse needs of the SC/ST community, totalling Rs 39,121 crore.
Huge allocations have been earmarked for women's and child welfare in the Karnataka budget, with amounts reaching Rs 86,423 crore and Rs 54,617 crore, respectively, under the leadership of Siddaramaiah's government.
In a special focus on minorities, key allocations have been outlined for specially-abled persons, gender minorities, and devadasis.
The initiatives include the distribution of two-wheelers to 1,500 specially-abled individuals in the fiscal year 2024-25. Additionally, the Maithi Yojana's financial aid for gender minorities will see an increase from Rs 800 to Rs 1,200, accompanied by simplified procedures for identification and ID issuance.
Furthermore, various programs are slated for the welfare of ex-devadasis, featuring an increment in the current monthly fixed payment from Rs 1500 to Rs 2000.
CM Siddaramaiah is committed to the development of the Anganwadi system and has pledged a substantial Rs 300 crore towards this endeavour for the current year.
To support this cause, a comprehensive set of measures has been announced:
Firstly, an allocation of Rs 10 crore is dedicated to organizing training workshops, with the aim of capacity building in early childhood education and care.
These workshops are intended to benefit 20,000 Anganwadi workers and helpers, ensuring their enhanced skills in providing quality education and care to young children.
In addition, a fund of Rs 90 crore has been set aside to facilitate various activities conducted through Anganwadi centres.
This includes a significant initiative to provide 75,938 smartphones to Anganwadi workers and supervisors.
The introduction of technology aims to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of their work, contributing to improved services and communication.
Furthermore, a substantial Rs 200 crore has been earmarked for the construction of dedicated buildings to carry out Anganwadi activities.
This initiative is crucial as 1,000 Anganwadis are currently functioning in rented spaces, and the provision of purpose-built facilities will contribute to a more stable and conducive environment for their operations.
Lastly, recognizing the valuable contributions of Anganwadi workers and helpers, the government has announced the provision of gratuity benefits for these individuals.
This commitment underscores the government's dedication to improving the overall welfare and working conditions of those involved in the Anganwadi system.
Under the Gruha Lakshmi scheme, a significant allocation of Rs 28,608 crore has been earmarked by the Congress government.
CM Siddaramaiah emphasized the scheme as one of the party's primary electoral commitments, benefiting 1.33 crore women.
As of January, 1.17 crore women have already enrolled in the program, with Rs 11,726 crore directly transferred to the accounts of beneficiaries.
The upcoming fiscal year, 2024-25, will witness a further allocation of Rs 28,608 crore, contributing to both family maintenance and income generation.
Additionally, a substantial Rs 2,000 crore has been designated for the development of canals in the Varuna assembly constituency.
This funding will specifically support initiatives such as the Gubbia Mathadahalli drinking water project and the Arkavati River Front Development projects near Ramanagara.
Moreover, the Karnataka government has allocated Rs 365 crore to channel water from the Bhima and Kagina rivers to the Benne Thora Reservoir, ensuring a stable supply of drinking water to Kalaburagi city.
CM Siddaramaiah has allocated Rs 970 crore for the development of drinking water resources and Antar Jal (inter-water) initiatives in the state.
He outlined specific projects, including the budgeting of Rs 970 crore for the current year to fill 38 lakes in the Yalaburga-Kukanur taluk of Koppal district, emphasizing their role in providing drinking water.
Additionally, an allocation of Rs 990 crore is designated for projects extending from Narayanpura canal to Pamanakallur and other regions in the Maski taluk of Raichur district.
Furthermore, a project focusing on irrigation facilities is set to be undertaken with the specified budget.
CM Siddaramaiah has announced an allocation of Rs 100 crore for the development of tourism near Anjanadri Hills.
He stated that the state's tourism policy will undergo revision for the period of 2024-2029, with the aim of attracting a higher number of tourists and investors to fully leverage the tourism potential of the region.
Emphasizing the mythological and historical significance of Anjanadri Hills and its surrounding areas in the Koppal district, the Chief Minister expressed the commitment to provide Rs 100 crore for the development of tourism infrastructure in these specific locations.
During his Budget speech, CM Siddaramaiah criticized the Central Government, alleging that the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was misleading.
He contended that the Union Government had promised a growth rate of 14 per cent, assuring states of compensation in the event of revenue growth shortfall.
The estimated GST tax collection from 2017 to 2023-24, based on this growth projection, was Rs 4,92,296 crore. However, only Rs 3,26,764 crore in GST revenue was collected.
In response to the GST shortfall of Rs 1,65,532 crore, the Central Government released Rs 1,06,258 crore as compensation to the state.
Siddaramaiah asserted that the state incurred a loss of Rs 59,274 crore due to the allegedly flawed implementation of GST over the last seven years, causing a stir in the legislative assembly.
CM Siddaramaiah announced the establishment of 50 women-operated cafes named Cafe Sanjeevini across the state, with an allocated budget of Rs 7.5 crore.
The initiative aims to address the demand and supply gap for nutritious, sanitary, and reasonably priced cooked food, emphasizing traditional local cuisine in rural areas.
CM Siddaramaiah said, "I have presented a growth-inducing welfare oriented budget which envisions inclusive and prosperous Karnataka with a priority to provide much needed support to farmers, women, youth and marginalized sections of the Society who are battered by high inflation, increasing inequality and jobless growth in the country".

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