Karnataka government to protest injustice in union budget, to stage protest in Delhi
Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar announced that the Karnataka government will stage a protest in Delhi on February 7th, highlighting the alleged injustice the state faced in the Union Budget. Addressing a media conference at Vidhana Soudha, Shivakumar alleges that the BJP government at the Centre has subjected it to "step-motherly treatment" in budget and other fund allocations.
Accompanied by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, state ministers, parliamentarians, MLAs, and members of Vidhan Parishad, Shivakumar outlined plans for the protest scheduled for February 7th. He emphasized the importance of exercising the democratic right to protest against perceived injustices and called upon all stakeholders, including opposition MPs, to participate in the demonstration.
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Citing budgetary figures, Shivakumar highlighted the disparity between the central government's budget size and the grants allocated to Karnataka. Despite the central budget nearly doubling from 2018-19 to 2023-24, the state's grants have witnessed only marginal increases. Shivakumar expressed dismay over the decrease in Karnataka's share of central funds, attributing it to the 15th Finance Commission's recommendation of reducing the state's revenue share.
Shivakumar underscored the adverse impact of reduced grants on the state's development initiatives, particularly in areas such as irrigation projects and urban infrastructure development. He lamented the failure of successive appeals made to the Prime Minister and relevant Union Ministers, urging them to address Karnataka's financial concerns.
Highlighting the state's pressing needs, Shivakumar reiterated the government's plea for adequate funds to combat drought and implement welfare schemes like the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA). He emphasized the necessity of increasing human labor days in drought-prone areas and called for equitable distribution of resources among states.
Shivakumar affirmed that he would invite all MPs from Karnataka, regardless of political affiliation, to participate in the protest, as a show of solidarity. He stressed the collective commitment to advocate for the state's welfare and urged stakeholders to unite in demanding fair treatment in budget allocations.