Updated: March 25, 2021 10:00:58 am
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa Wednesday defended the BJP-led state government’s move to borrow more loans with the state facing fiscal stress.
In his reply during the discussion on the recent budget presentation in the Legislative Assembly, he said, “The government has no magic wand and the treasury is not any Akshaya Patra in the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic.”
Yediyurappa was reading out his reply even as the Opposition Congress continued with protests against the government citing inaction against former minister Ramesh Jarkiholi on the sex-for-job CD row.
He condemned the protests by Congress questioning why they were continuously disrupting the Assembly proceedings. “The people are watching these developments and they’ll surely teach you (Opposition) a lesson in the coming days,” Yediyurappa remarked.
Further, citing the pandemic and floods as “adverse situations”, he explained that the government had no other way but to borrow money in order to take up and complete various development works across the state. “The government is ready to take remedial measures to overcome the situation (of fiscal deficit),” he said.
Yediyurappa, who presented his eighth budget on March 8, claimed that he had presented seven revenue surplus budgets before but the same was not possible this year. Explaining the measures taken by the government to bounce back economically, he said, “Various committees have already been set up to merge departments. This will help us improve finances by cutting down on expenses and enhancing non-tax revenue.”
Meanwhile, Karnataka has decided to borrow Rs 71,642 crore in the 2021-22 fiscal.
Financial bills passed amid Congress uproar
Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri, who had a third consecutive busy day trying to pacify protests by the Opposition table, called for vote and passed the Fiscal Responsibility (Amendment) Bill on Wednesday.
Kageri noted that it was “unfortunate” that the Opposition was not allowing the House to function normally. “You (Opposition MLAs) choosing not to cooperate while Budget is being passed and important legislations are being made is unfortunate. Differences of opinion can be dealt with outside the House but you should allow the House to function,” he repeated.
At the same time, The Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurements (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was also passed by the Vidhana Sabha.
Meanwhile, both the Houses of the Karnataka legislature were adjourned sine die on Wednesday, seven days ahead of the schedule, as both houses continued to see protests over the alleged Jarkiholi issue.
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