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Karnataka CM Siddarmaiah slams Interim Budget 2024, calls it ‘disastrous’

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah criticized the Union Budget, calling it "disappointing" and accusing the central government of crafting an "election budget." He highlighted concerns over high borrowing, substantial interest, and lack of transparency. Siddaramaiah argued the budget failed to address critical issues like unemployment, and inflation.

Karnataka CM Siddarmaiah slams Interim Budget 2024, calls it 'disastrous' vkp
First Published Feb 2, 2024, 9:05 AM IST

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah expressed deep dissatisfaction and criticised the recently presented Union Budget by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, asserting that the fiscal plan failed to address the concerns of the poor, farmers, youth, and women. During a press conference at the Home Office in Krishna today, the CM labelled the overall budget as "disappointing" and accused the central government of crafting an "election budget."

Highlighting key grievances, Siddaramaiah revealed that the Union Budget proposed a staggering borrowing of ₹16,85,496 crores, with the total loan burden reaching ₹190 lakh crores. Notably, the CM criticized the allocation of ₹11,91,000 crores for loans in this budget, emphasizing the substantial interest that would need to be repaid. Siddaramaiah characterized the budget as "destructive" rather than the touted "developed" budget, asserting that it lacked transparency and failed to address critical issues such as unemployment, inflation, farmers' problems, and drought.

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"This budget is more hidden than the public. Unemployment, price rises, farmers' problems, and drought are not mentioned. How much debt have we incurred, developed India is being promoted everywhere as the achievement of the Modi government. They are saying that this is a developed budget. It is not developed, it is a destructive budget for India," Siddaramaiah remarked.

Contrary to the claims of being pro-poor, the Chief Minister argued that the budget did not cater to the needs of the marginalized sections of society. Siddaramaiah pointed out that his government had implemented various programs such as Annabhagya, Grilahakshmi, Yuvanidhi, Grihajyoti, and Krishibhagya, specifically designed to benefit the poor, farmers, youth, and women.

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Despite the national narrative of progress, the CM insisted that the budget lacked substance and failed to address the pressing issues faced by the common man. He emphasized the absence of measures to tackle unemployment, rising prices, and the agrarian crisis, further challenging the Modi government's narrative of development.

He also said that the Union Budget had missed the mark and was more aligned with electoral considerations than the welfare of the citizens. As the nation grapples with economic challenges, the Chief Minister's critique sheds light on the growing discontent among regional leaders over the central government's fiscal policies.

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