Karnataka Government Freezes Funding for Previous Administration's Orders
Bengaluru,May 22, 2023- In a bold move, the newly elected government of Karnataka, led by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, has announced the suspension of funds for any orders issued by the previous administration. The decision encompasses all departments, boards, and corporations across the state. This directive, issued on Monday, marks a significant shift in policy just days after Siddaramaiah assumed office following Congress' remarkable victory in the assembly elections.
The order, confirmed by news agency ANI, also entails the suspension of all pending projects that have yet to commence. This decision comes as part of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's commitment to bringing about transformative changes and fulfilling the promises outlined in the Congress manifesto.
Taking office on Saturday, May 20, Siddaramaiah wasted no time in demonstrating his dedication to the electorate. Shortly after being sworn in, he granted preliminary approval to all five guarantees detailed in the Congress manifesto, which had resonated strongly with the people during the election campaign.
In a tweet, Siddaramaiah affirmed, "Before the elections, we made five guarantees to the people of this state. Today, as I assume the role of Chief Minister, I do so because the people trusted us and granted a decisive mandate to our party. As promised, during our very first cabinet meeting, we have provided preliminary approval to all our guarantees, thus upholding our commitment."
The Karnataka Congress had pledged five key initiatives in its manifesto: Gruha Jyoti, which promises 200 units of free power to every household; Gruha Lakshmi, which offers a monthly assistance of Rs 2,000 to the female heads of families; Anna Bhagya, ensuring 10 kilograms of free rice to each member of below poverty line households; YuvaNidhi, providing Rs 3,000 per month for unemployed graduate youth and Rs 1,500 for unemployed diploma holders in the age group of 18-25 for two years; and Shakti, granting free public transport bus rides to women.
Siddaramaiah acknowledged that the initial estimation of implementing these guarantees would require an annual expenditure of Rs 50,000 crore from the state exchequer. Highlighting Karnataka's budget size of Rs 3.1 lakh crore, he expressed confidence in the government's ability to generate the necessary funds. "I firmly believe that our government can raise Rs 50,000 crore annually for these five guarantees," he stated. The Chief Minister emphasized that it was entirely feasible to implement these schemes without burdening the state with debt or plunging it into financial crisis. Drawing attention to the substantial interest payments of Rs 56,000 crore annually on existing loans, he questioned, "If we can allocate such an amount for interest, can we not invest Rs 50,000 crore for the betterment of our people?"