Basavaraj Bommai govt’s last budget will look to dent Cong poll prospects

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Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai will present the State Budget on Friday (February 17).

BENGALURU: With the Assembly election less than three months away, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai will present the last budget of the incumbent government on Friday (February 17), which will give a boost to the party while taking on the Congress over its promises.

Basavaraj Bommai will present his second budget at 10.30 am on Friday. With the tax mop-up higher than expected, the budget outlay is expected to be over Rs 3 lakh crore. While the expectations will be understandably high, the challenges to will be many.

File photo.

The budget may not impose any new taxes and new benefit schemes are likely to be announced with stress on welfare of farmers, labourers, women, SCs, STs, and backward classes. It is also likely take on the Congress on its Gruha Jyothi and Gruha Lakshmi schemes.

A Stree Shakti scheme to provide financial aid to the women members of households, raising limit of interest-free loans for farmers from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 5 lakh, loans for women through Stree Shakti groups, increasing Namma Clinics up to hobli level, separate boards and corporations for the development of various communities, enhanced allocation for irrigation projects, financial aid for families engaged in traditional crafts, implementation of the 7th Pay Commission report are likely to figure in the budget.

File photo.

Apart from this, a special package for Bengaluru development and a separate plan for easing traffic in the city can be expected.

It is unlikely that the CM may announce any loan waivers in the budget though there is a demand to waive loans availed from certain corporations. With Prime Minister Narendra Modi not in favour of loan waivers and subsidies, and instead pushing for welfare schemes, the state budget may follow suit.

After it came to power, the BJP government, headed by B S Yediyurappa, had presented a fresh budget after the fall of the H D Kumaraswamy-led coalition budget. Now, only if the BJP returns to power, the budget presented by Basavaraj Bommai will follow through.

Meanwhile, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike is hoping for huge grants to the tune of Rs 7,000 crore in the budget for construction of new flyovers, white-topping of roads, repair of rajakaluves and storm water drains, waste management and other works.

The Palike has already drawn up plans for construction of flyovers at different locations to ease traffic flow in the city and has written to the government for an increase in grants.

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