With an eye on Assembly election, due in late April or early May, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday presented a popular state budget for fiscal 2018-19 to please all sections of society.
Barring 8 per cent increase in additional excise duty on Indian-made liquor, the budget spared the people from fresh taxes despite Rs 151.30 crore deficit on capital account (revised estimates) on steep hike in borrowings.
Delivering his 13th budget, sixth in a row as chief minister, by virtue of holding the finance portfolio, 70-year-old Siddaramaiah told the lawmakers in the Assembly that his government posted Rs 383.84 revenue surplus (revised estimates) as against Rs 136.54 crore budget estimates for fiscal 2017-18.
"For new fiscal (2018-19), revenue surplus is estimated to be Rs 127.28 crore, while deficit on capital account is expected to be Rs 383.25 crore due to higher institutional borrowings and repayment of loans," he pointed out.
Projecting Rs 1,03,444 crore tax revenue, including GST (Goods and Services Tax) compensation from the Central government for FY 2019, an increase of 12.78 per cent over the revised estimates of FY 2018, the Chief Minister said the non-tax revenue would be Rs 8,163 crore.
"We expect to receive Rs 36,215 crore from central taxes and Rs 14,942 crore as central grants. The revenue receipts will be supplemented by Rs 39,3128 crore as borrowings, Rs 75 crore non-debt capital receipts and Rs 129 crore from recovery of loans," noted Siddaramaiah.
The budget expects state-run boards, civic corporations and local bodies to mobilise Rs 16,760 crore through internal resource generation and borrowings during the upcoming fiscal.
Among the new schemes, the budget has envisaged to strengthen the software of the IT network to make the police system citizen friendly across the state.
"The number of women in the state police department will be enhanced 25 per cent over the next years and all the women police stations in the district will be upgraded as one-stop service centres," added the chief minister.