It’s not a common man’s Budget: Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah

This is a directionless Budget, lacking in clear vision, chief minister Siddaramaiah has said. Reacting to the Union Budget here on Thursday, he said that it is  clearly not a common man’s Budget. The Union Finance Minister has presented a Budget with an eye on the elections and it could remain a paper of mere promises, which might not come through at all. The BJP had said in its manifesto that it would implement the Swaminathan committee report, but did not live upto its promise. For instance, it said it would give a support price of Rs 6500 per quintal for tur dal but gave only Rs 5400 per quintal. The farmers were expecting a loan waiver as the UPA government had waived loans amounting to Rs 72,000 crore, but this government did nothing.

As for the Suburban Rail, the state government has already taken a decision to implement it and the Centre’s decision to restrict its share to 20 per cent will only burden it.  

I welcome the  Centre’s move to digitise the agriculture produce marketing committees, but it was Karnataka , which originally started this and the Centre has only copied our scheme. Its decision to set up  medical colleges in every Lok Sabha constituency is  once again a copy of our idea because we have already decided to establish one medical college in each of the 30 districts. Also, the Centre has failed to contain the fiscal deficit within the 3.3 per cent of the GSDP.

‘Health insurance the way out’
“This is a dream budget for healthcare.” The newly announced National Health Protection Scheme has a provision of health cover up to Rs 1 lakh per family and senior citizens of the age 60 and above can get a additional top-up up to Rs 30,000. “If they allocate money in thousands, it won’t make any difference. Today if we think of secondary or tertiary treatments, that itself costs minimum Rs 2-3 lakh, this scheme is a benefiting step,” he added.

Dr. Shetty also said that it’s an extensive effort which will require infrastructure and support which should eventually come. “They have shown the intention that the healthcare is expensive and people need support. Health insurance is the only way forward.”

Speaking about the utilization of government schemes, he pointed towards Yashaswini, Arogyashree and other state schemes, which have been utilised 100% if they have covered a particular treatment. “If the amount is justifying the treatment cost then there are no doubts about hospitals implementing the schemes,” Dr Shetty said.

Another shift in the budget is the 24 new government medical colleges that will be set up by upgrading existing district hospitals in the county. Dr Shetty said, “Once we have the government medical colleges coming up, the cost of education will come down, so children from poor families can go to medical colleges.”
Dr Devi Shetty, chairman, Narayana Health

Allocation to fight TB welcome
The government move to provide the treatment cost for tuberculosis is welcome. One of the reasons that TB is coming back again and again is poor compliance, people fail to take their complete treatment. This move is one best way to make the country free from TB.
Dr N.K. Venkataramana, Founder & Chief Neurosurgeon, Brains Neuro Spine Centre, Bengaluru

Ayushman scheme could be a gamechanger
Healthcare sector has been a clear priority in budget 2018. There has been a good balance on short term respite from out of pocket health costs and building capacity in the long term.

The Ayushman Bharath the scheme to provide health cover to 50 crore Indians of Rs 5 lakh is simply audacious in scale and reach and could be a game changer. Healthcare needs to be universally accessible and also start from preventive care. This should be taken care of with the proposed 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres.
Dr Kaushik Murali, Paediatric Ophthalmologist & President, Sankara Eye Hospital

Shettar: Bonanza for Bengaluru
The Budget has focused on doubling agriculture income and  providing jobs to 50 lakh unemployed youth. It has given priority to education, scheduled castes and tribes, health and rural infrastructure . It is a remarkable achievement of the Centre to provide health security to 10 lakh BPL families covering over 50 crore people. I welcome the decision to establish one medical college in every Lok Sabha constituency and thank Mr. Jaitely for making an allocation for the Bengaluru Suburban train service.

BSY: Lion’s share for agri 
The Union Budget presented on Thursday is a historic one as a lion’s share has gone to agriculture, the poor and the scheduled castes and tribes. It is a pro-farmer, pro-poor, pro- rural  and development oriented Budget. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitely have focused on inclusive growth and concentrated on building a new India. For rural infrastructure, the Union Budget has provided Rs 14.34 lakh crore, enhanced the minimum support price, given Rs. 11 lakh crore for agriculture, and Rs 2000 crore for upgradation of the agriculture market. I thank Mr. Jaitely for allocating Rs. 17,000 crore for  the Bengaluru Suburban train service.

Victory for my battle: Ananth
This is a transformational Budget for the new India aimed at the welfare of the poor, farmers and backward classes with the focus being on Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas. My battle of 21 years for a Suburban Rail for Bengaluru  is closer to reality now with the Budget setting aside Rs 17,000 crore for it , catering to the growth of the city.

DVS: For rural growth
The Union Budget presented on Thursday has focused on agriculture, education, health and family welfare and rural development. As a majority of the people live in rural areas, this Budget has focused on their  upliftment. I appreciate the programmes for human development: a medical college in three Lok Sabha seats, Rs 1200 crore for the improvement of health sector, five lakh each for health insurance of 12 lakh families. Also, the raising of  the MSP by one –and- a-half times the production cost is a revolutionary step.  Setting up of 42 mega food parks will certainly help the sector.

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