Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who also holds the Finance portfolio, presented the State Budget for 2016-17 on Friday. This was his 4th Budget presentation as the chief minister 11th overall. He was finance minister in the erstwhile Janata Dal government.
Siddaramaiah reached the Vidhana Soudha at 11:06 am along with his cabinet ministers and began his budget speech at 11:30 am. While the budget size for 2015-16 was Rs 1,42,534 crore, the present budget has a size of Rs 1,63419 crore, higher by Rs 12,778 crore.
Overall, it was a Bengaluru-focused budget with a slew of measures to improve traffic and other civic amenities. The CM has also allocated funds for lake development in the state capital.
Apart from Rs 60 crore for the construction of district hospital in Mysuru, CM’s hometown has not got anything substantial. He has earmarked the setting up of Devaraja Urs Bamboo Development and has announced reserving of 150 acres of forest land in Hunsur for this purpose.
New medical colleges in Chamarajanagar, Madikeri and Karwar will be set up. The district hospital proposed to set up in Mysuru will have an organ donation unit.
Siddaramaiah has also allocated Rs 20 crore to develop Kallahalli, the birthplace of former chief minister D Devaraj Urs.
The budget is crucial for the Congress government which is fast losing its popularity because of poor governance. The unimpressive show of the Congress in recent assembly and Panchayat elections had conveyed a clear message that Siddaramaiah’s freebie-loaded budgets in the past three years have not fetched electoral returns.