Refuting reports of differences between the Congress and JDS on presenting a full-fledged state budget, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy today said he planned to table a new budget in the first or second week of July.
“It is a personal suggestion of Siddaramaiah and it would be considered for discussion at the ministerial meeting to be held in the next two days to prepare for the budget presentation,” Kumaraswamy said at a meet-the-press programme.
Former Chief Minister and Chairman of the Congress-JDS coordination committee Siddaramaiah had last week expressed his strong reservations over presenting a new full fledged budget, saying there was no need for such an exercise.
Siddaramaiah had said he had already tabled the budget as chief minister a few months ago.
Kumaraswamy had, however, strongly pushed for a new budget and took up the issue with Congress president Rahul Gandhi during his meeting with him in New Delhi yesterday and later said he had got the go-ahead from him.
He said the coalition government planned to present its first budget in the first or second week of July.
Kumraswamy also assured farmers of his government’s commitment to waive farm loans in a “scientific way.”
“I am going to call a meeting with all nationalised banks to chart out the modalities to waive loans of farmers,” he said.
Kumaraswamy is expected to make an announcement on the farm loan-waiver scheme in the budget.
He also said he has sought 50 per cent Central assistance for waiving the farm loans.
“In Karnataka, about 85 lakh farmers have outstanding debts on account of agricultural loans from banks. Owing to the recurring drought, the farmers are even more severely distressed. I request the government of India to provide 50 per cent support to our loan-waiver scheme,” he said.
He also said the government would work towards a scheme to ensure that farmers get the loan without any difficulty and role of middlemen, who siphon off some money, is removed.
Kumaraswamy also sought to allay the popular fears that the government would face financial crunch to take up other developmental works if it waives a huge sum of Rs 53,000 crore farm loan.
According to the reports, the Congress is wary of the implications of farm loan waiver and officials have informed Kumaraswamy about tough times ahead in implementing it.
The farm loan waiver was one of the major promises JDS had made in its election manifesto during the recent assembly polls.