Reminding the Siddaramaiah government of its fiscal responsibilities, Opposition BJP leader Jagadish Shettar today criticised it for the loans it has taken in the last two years compared to previous BJP rule.
Siddaramaiah was an experienced Finance Minister who had presented budget for a record ten times and, as the leader of opposition, used to criticise governments for taking loans and putting that burden on the public, Shettar said.
Participating in the debate on the state budget in the Assembly, he said during BJP’s tenure, the loan borrowed amounted to Rs 45,120 crore in five years, while Siddaramaiah government in the span of two years after coming to power had taken Rs 42,329 crore as loan.
In line with government’s populist schemes like ‘anna baghya’ and ‘ksheera baghya’ government has also given the public loan, he said adding that “spending by taking loans is not the sign of a good administrative system.”
Shettar said the style of functioning of the government has led to a situation where “we are lagging behind in all areas.”
He also said the government’s performance in the areas of governance and asset creation was poor and added that administrative system had to be strengthened.
Noting that GSDP has declined from 7.2 to 7 per cent, Shettar said this had happened despite the state having an “experienced” Finance Minister; ideally it should have improved “when we have such a person at the helm of affairs.”
He said despite government’s claims that agriculture and horticulture were priority sectors for it, Agriculture growth had drastically slumped from 9.5 per cent to 4.5 per cent. The Economic Survey shows that production of food grains have come down and industrial growth has also declined.
Pointing out the difference in the outlay, Shettar said allocations for agriculture and horticulture had come down despite poor performance by the sector. Allocation to the sector has been reduced by around Rs 550 crore, he said.
Referring to Siddaramaiah’s talk about inclusive growth and transparency in administration, Shettar said there was lot of difference in his words and deeds. He also said government had failed to provide justice to all classes and bridge regional disparity.
Commending Siddaramaiah for the priority given to backward classes and minority community, Shettar, however, said it was an irony that separate allocation were still being made for their development and alleged that Congress was responsible for it as it ruled the state and the country for 50 years. He accused it of using them as vote bank.