The JDS-Congress government in Karnataka has released Rs. 5,450 crore so far towards farmer’s loan waiver scheme, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said today.
Presenting the ruling coalition’s second budget in the assembly, Mr. Kumaraswamy, who holds the finance portfolio, said the loan waiver had benefitted about 12 lakh farmers.
He also announced that the “Ayushman Bharat” scheme of the Centre would be combined with “Aroygya Karnataka” and it would be renamed as “Ayushman Bharat Karnataka.”
“Besides 61.5 lakh existing beneficiaries, it would be extended to another 52 lakh people,” Mr. Kumaraswamy said.
BJP members led by BS Yeddyurappa, who have been disrupting the proceedings since the budget session began on Wednesday alleging that the government lacked majority, staged a walkout during the session.
Congress members held placards, criticizing the BJP’s alleged attempt to topple the coalition government.
The BJP members also protested against Mr. Kumaraswamy’s charge that BS Yeddyurappa had spoken about bribing the assembly speaker in an audio clip that was released by the chief minister before the session to back his claim about the BJP’s toppling game.
Objecting to the Chief Minister’s comment, BJP wanted clarification on the matter and also demanded that the budget copies be distributed to the legislators.
Contrary to the usual practice, budget copies were not distributed to MLAs and the media present inside the House, citing the method being followed in Parliament.
The government which plans to achieve the target of Rs20, 950 crore fixed for excise department for fiscal 2019-20, has proposed to increase excise duty on beer.
Taking a dig at the Centre’s “Pradhnamanthri Fasal Bheema Yojana”, the Chief Minister in his budget speech noted that in the last two years, this scheme seemed to have benefited the insurance companies more than the farmers, as he hinted at state’s own new crop insurance scheme.
A total grant of Rs 17,212 crore has been provided to Water Resources Department during 2019-20 in the budget that proposes for various irrigation schemes, tank filling projects, comprehensive developmental works, canal modernization-development works, Bridge and Barrage construction works, among other things.