Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah today termed the Union Budget as “disappointing and not farmer friendly”, saying the government had not met the “huge” expectations created among the people.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had created huge expectations among people. The PM had expressed his special concern for farmers in his recent Mann Ki Baat, but that is not reflecting in the budget,” Siddaramaiah told reporters.
He said the budget speaks about doubling farmers’ annual income by 2022, but there is no mention about how it will be done.
Siddaramaiah who also holds state’s finance portfolio, has the credit of presenting 10 budgets.
Speaking about allocation towards irrigation in the budget, he said, “Towards Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP) in 2015-16, Rs 1,000 crore was set aside, for next year they have set aside only Rs 1,377 crore for the whole country.”
“I don’t see we even getting Rs 100-150 crore out of this. It will be of no use,” he added.
Noting that in this budget there is slight improvement in allocation towards few centrally sponsored schemes compared to last year, he said, “They have only made a small correction in centrally sponsored schemes, nothing more than that.”
Stating that the union government could have done more towards agriculture, rural development, and drinking water, he said, “Keeping in mind the drought situation, allocation towards MNREGA could have been enhanced, thereby creating job opportunities to support rural livelihood.”
“On the whole, this budget is disappointing. It is very average and not farmer friendly. These are only my initial reactions. I’m yet to go through it in detail,” he added.