Budget Session begins
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Budget Session begins

February 12, 2024

Governor’s address focuses on five guarantees; Opposition accuses Government of publicising lies through Governor’s address 

Bengaluru:  The Budget Session of the State Legislature commenced at Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru this morning with Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot addressing both Houses.

The Governor began his address by stating, “My Government, elected with the support, recognition and trust of the people in the State Assembly elections held last May, is committed to unity in both word and deed.”

He highlighted the effectiveness of the Government’s five guarantee schemes in alleviating economic disparities and providing relief to those in need. Additionally, he noted that despite the State facing drought conditions, instances of farmer suicides have decreased compared to the previous year, emphasising the Government’s stance against such tragedies.

The Governor continued by discussing the Government’s efforts to formulate a new education policy aimed at preparing youth to seize opportunities arising from technological innovations and fostering entrepreneurship. He expressed confidence that the State’s educational progress would be enhanced further to meet both present and future needs.

Underlining the Government’s commitment to the ideals of ‘Sarva Janangada Shanthiya Thota,’ as envisioned by Rashtrakavi Kuvempu, and the comprehensive development of the State, Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot underscored the Government’s focus on good governance, transparent systems, and citizen-centric approaches.

He also highlighted the Government’s dedication to promoting ease of governance alongside ease of doing business, prioritising efficient and accessible administrative processes.

Central funds not granted

In reference to the drought situation, the Governor remarked, “The State Government has submitted memorandums related to Kharif Drought Relief to the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, seeking financial assistance of Rs. 18,171.44 crore under NDRF for drought relief measures in affected taluks. However, as of now, no amount has been released. Nonetheless, the State Government is diligently pursuing all necessary efforts to expedite the release of drought relief funds, aiming to alleviate the suffering of our people.”

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Furthermore, the Governor highlighted that in response to the drought situation, the State Government has disbursed input subsidies totalling Rs. 617 crore to 32.50 lakh drought-affected farmers as the first instalment of crop damage compensation, up to Rs. 2,000 per eligible farmer.

Acknowledging the cooperation of people’s representatives in elevating State Government projects to the national level and fostering public engagement, the Governor concluded his address by stating, “Let us all collaborate in resolving the issues faced by the common man. Together, let us strive to make Karnataka a prosperous State and a haven of peace for all communities.”

Opposition dissatisfied

Of special note was the participation of opposition BJP members on opening day of Budget session, donning saffron shawls.

In reaction to the Governor’s address, members of the Opposition BJP and JD(S) expressed their discontent, highlighting that the speech predominantly emphasised the Siddaramaiah Government’s guarantees while neglecting crucial topics like drought relief measures.

They accused the Government of coercing the Governor into promoting falsehoods and exaggerating nonexistent schemes. Opposition leader R. Ashoka strongly criticised the Governor’s speech, labelling it a collection of lies and asserting that it misled the people of Karnataka. Both Houses adjourned for the day, after paying homage to former members of the State Legislature and other dignitaries who recently passed away.

Budget on Feb. 16

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who also serves as the Finance Minister, is scheduled to present the State Budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 on Feb. 16. This marks the CM’s 15th Budget presentation, a record in the State’s history. The upcoming Budget holds significant importance with the looming LS polls.

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