Bengaluru: Striking a cautious note on governments giving freebies to people, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, who will present his second budget here on Friday, promised to strike a balance between populist schemes and bringing about structural changes in various sectors.
The Chief Minister, who was interacting with select journalists here on Monday, said he was confident he would be able to complete the process of crediting the loan waiver amount into farmers’ accounts during the next fiscal. Although at first he had believed he needed five years to waive farm loans to the tune of Rs 48,000 crore, it had now become possible to meet this commitment in the coming fiscal as the government had enough resources, he explained.
However, admitting that giving freebies and too many populist schemes could take away a large share of the allocations in the budget, he said he intended to also give priority to structural changes in different sectors to make sure they didn’t suffer.
“I have interacted with all sections of people, including auto drivers. We would like to cover almost all areas in the budget ," he added.
The Chief Minister ruled out imposing prohibition in the state as demanded by the thousands of women, who marched to Vidhana Soudha last week, noting that the state’s main source of revenue was the excise sector. "After the introduction of GST, mobilising resources has become difficult. I can understand the pain of those women, but we have to be pragmatic,” he contended.
Hinting that carrying forward some of the commitments of the Siddaramaiah government had been a burden, he said he could not manouvre as much as he would have liked to come out with other programmes.
Mr Kumaraswamy revealed that under the Compete With China programme, several companies had come forward to set up shop in tier-II and III cities and towns in the state. "A few electronic toy manufacturing companies have come forward to set up base in Koppal and Ballari and we are pushing for textile industries,” he added....