Karnataka CM Bommai seeks Centre aid ahead of budget

Published on Feb 08, 2022 12:14 AM IST

Karnataka, like other states in the country, has been hard-hit by the Covid- 19 pandemic-induced lockdown, squeezing its finances and development works.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai meets union minister of state for personnel Jitendra Singh. Bommai requested Singh to send more IAS, IPS and Indian Forest Service officers to ensure effective implementation of welfare-oriented schemes in the state. (PTI)
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai meets union minister of state for personnel Jitendra Singh. Bommai requested Singh to send more IAS, IPS and Indian Forest Service officers to ensure effective implementation of welfare-oriented schemes in the state. (PTI)
ByHT Correspondent, Bengaluru

Chief minister Basavaraj Bommai on Monday sought financial assistance, including interest free loans and other concessions for the state before the budget, from the central government during his meeting with finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi.

“During a meeting with the finance minister, we discussed the 1 lakh crore capital grants in the form of interest free on a 50 year term. The share of Karnataka is estimated to be around 3,800 cr to 4,000 cr in the capital grant,” Bommai said.

The union finance minister, in her budget speech on February 1, proposed a 50-year, interest-free loan of 1 lakh crore to states to enable them to spend on capital investments, especially on infrastructure, under the PM Gati Shakti Master Plan in 2022-23. Sitharaman also proposed that states be allowed a fiscal deficit of 4% of Gross State Domestic Produce (GSDP) in 2022-23, of which 0.5 per cent will be tied to power sector reforms.

Bommai also met with union power minister RK Singh. “I requested him to waive off some conditions which will allow the discoms to avail bank loans,” he said.

Karnataka, like other states in the country, has been hard-hit by the Covid- 19 pandemic-induced lockdown, squeezing its finances and development works.

He also sought 5,030 cr for all round development of Kalyana Karnataka region under various central sponsored programmes.

Bommai is under pressure to deliver a big-ticket budget to deflect attention away from the problems his government has faced since he took over in July last year.

He is under pressure to expand the cabinet to quell growing dissent within the BJP legislators, some of whom have expressed their displeasure openly.

“These issues can be discussed if the central leadership gives time. I cannot share immediately. I can share only after the meeting and before leaving (to Bengaluru),” he told reporters in Delhi.

He has sought time with union home minister Amit Shah and BJP national president JP Nadda. “I have already said I do not want to discuss in public about the cabinet reshuffle,” he said.

Notably, there are four vacancies in the 34-member cabinet.

In a separate meeting with union minister of state for personnel Jitendra Singh, Bommai requested him to send more IAS, IPS and Indian Forest Service officers to ensure effective implementation of welfare-oriented flagship schemes in the state.

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