Karnataka CM Accuses FM Sitaraman of Injustice, Citing Unreleased Funds

CM Siddaramaiah alleges Rs 1.87 lakh crore loss for Karnataka due to withheld funds by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Bengaluru: Having representing Karanataka in the Rajya Sabha, Union Minister for Finance Nirmala Sitaraman meted out “injustice” to the State, accused Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and stated that since 2017-18 to till date, Karnataka lost about Rs 1.87,000 crore as share in tax devolution and also in getting grants from the Central Government ruled by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

In a chat with reporters in Chitradurga during his visit on Friday, Chief Minister pointed out the budgetary allocation made by Union Minister for Finance Nirmala Sitaraman in 2023-24 wherein she had announced to release Rs 5,300 crore for Upper Bhadra Project (UBP) to provide drinking water and irrigation to the districts of Chitradurga, Chikkamagaluru, Davangere and Tumakuru.

The amount announced by Nirmala Sitaraman should have been released by March this year, said the Chief Minister and stated that till date not a single rupee has been released by the Central Government. He questioned “Is it not injustice?”

“It was not just a statement elsewhere by Nirmala Sitaraman but a budget announcement,” said the Chief Minister and asked “Is it not her responsibility?” Continuing on the Upper Bhadra Project, Siddaramaiah said “It was her commitment and it should have been fulfilled.”

Pointing out at the special grants allocated to Karnataka by 15th Finance Commission, Siddaramaiah said Rs 11, 495 crore was allocated but Niramala Sitaraman “rejected it’"and asked “Is it not injustice?”

Siddaramaiah also pointed out that apart from budgetary announcement, it was assured to declare Upper Bhadra Project as a national project but nothing substantial happened so far.

Even the then Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai in his budget presentation in March 2023-24 had reiterated that the Union Government would release Rs 5,300 crore to Upper Bhadra Project. Siddaramaiah said the State Government has spent Rs 6,000 crore so far for Upper Bhadra Project out of Rs 8,000 crore spent on it.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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