Bengaluru: While claiming he had presented a regular Budget that had nothing to do with the coming state elections, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announced on Friday that an order would soon be passed to give a 30 per cent hike in basic salary for government employees and pensioners based on the recommendations of the pay commission.
“I have not provided details about the pay hike in the Budget as it needs Cabinet approval. But pay commission recommendations will be implemented soon after they are cleared by the Cabinet,” he assured, revealing that Rs. 10,508 crore had been set aside to meet the expense involved.
“I have presented a regular budget, which we will have to implement on our return. Although the BJP says it will come to power, the people know that the Congress will win the elections,” he asserted, speaking to reporters here.
Once again mocking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his famous slogan, “Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas,” he claimed the BJP was only talking about it, but he was actually following it in letter and spirit. “ The fact that we are reimbursing the fee paid by girl students for their PUC, degree and PG courses, and giving free bus passes to all categories of students shows that our Budget is all for Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas,” he contended.
“We have followed the norms of Fiscal Responsibility Act by presenting a Rs. 127 crore surplus budget. Fiscal deficit should be below 3 per cent as mentioned in the Act, and we are well within the limit,” he added. Maintaining that the government had not cut allocations for priority sectors, he said new schemes like Raitha Belaku had been launched to provide direct income assistance to farmers for growing rain-fed crops. “They will be given a maximum of Rs. 10,000 per hectare and the amount will be transferred directly to their accounts,” he explained.
The Chief Minister defended his decision not to allocate additional funds for Bengaluru infrastructure development, recalling that over Rs. 7000 crore had already been set aside for this in the previous Budget. “That amount has to be spent. Once the ongoing work is completed, we will release additional funds,” he said in response to a question.
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