Karnataka: Siddaramaiah presents budget with poll in mind

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Siddaramaiah presents budget with poll in mind
Bangalore, Feb 13: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah presented the state budget in the assembly on Friday. The total estimated expenditure as laid down by Siddaramaiah showed an increase from Rs 1.21 lakh crores in July last year to Rs 1.38 lak crores.

The chief minister, who presented his second budget as the chief minister and the ninth in all, tried to satisfay all sections. Excise duty on liquor and licence fee on liquor shops were raised marginally. He also announced ways on mobilising resources, like reducing value-added tax on liquor sold by bars and restaurants operating in the urban areas.

Siddaramaiah also stressed welfare of the rural people and the agriculture sector. The ceiling for interes-free agricultural loans was raised from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 3 lakh. It was also announced that farm loans would be provided at an interest rate of three per cent. Schemes were also introduced for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and backward classes and also nomadic tribes.

The proposed tax measure and reliefs will be, however, be made effective from March 1 and not April 1 as it is generally the case. It will hence be important for the government to get its money bills approved by the legislature earlier.

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