Bounty for religious bodies in BJP's pre-poll Karnataka budget

Bangalore, Feb 8 (IANS) More than Rs.125 crore for religious organisations, rice at Rs.2 a kg for poor, schemes to woo farmers, benefit for government employees working in Bangalore, and no fresh taxes mark the BJP government's 2013-14 budget presented Friday to poll-bound Karnataka assembly.

The overall outlay of the budget presented by Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar is Rs.117,005 crore, including Rs.22,310 crore for agriculture. The allocation for agriculture is presented as a separate budget since 2011.

This is Shettar's first budget and the Bharatiya Janata Party's last of its first term in office in this southern state.

Elections to the 225-member assembly, which includes one nominated member, are due in May.

Shettar continued the tradition of doling out public funds to 'maths' run by various communities. The practice was started by the BJP's first chief minister of Karnataka, B.S. Yeddyurappa, who has since quit the party to lead the Karnataka Janata Party (KJP).

Shettar said: "An amount of Rs.100 Crore will be provided for buildings, development of works, rejuvenation works and other activities of religious institutions of different communities."

Besides this, he allocated over Rs.25 crore mainly to maths run by Lingayats, the state's dominant caste group which is generally believed to be backing the BJP. Shettar belongs to the community.

Claiming the budget proposals aimed at "inclusive growth", Shettar, who took office in July last year as the BJP's third chief minister in the state, sought assembly approval for a vote on account till July 31 as the legislature would not have time to debate and approve the budget.

The session began Feb 4 and is to end Feb 15.

Shettar kept his pre-budget word that he will present "people friendly budget".

The presentation went off smoothly and was a relief to both Shettar and the BJP as Yeddyurappa had threatened to pull down the government ahead of the budget day.

Yeddyurappa got 13 other party assembly members to quit the party and the house ahead of the budget session.

However, he could not get any more of his supporters to quit the BJP and Shettar is surviving with a wafer-thin majority in the assembly.

The main budget proposals are: rice at Rs.2 a kg to the below poverty line families, setting up of Farmers Income Commission, continuation of scheme for zero interest short-term crop loan of up to Rs.100,000, government staff working in Bangalore city to now get 30 percent instead of 25 percent of their basic pay as house rent allowance, financial support to set up Cyber Cafes in each grama panchayat (Village panchayat).

For the much needed improvement of Bangalore infrastructure, Shettar has allocated just Rs.6,203 crore.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

Pietersen to miss Delhi's first game

Pietersen to miss Delhi's first game

The former England batsman will have to lead the franchise as he is out of the match against Bangalore with a finger injury. More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

'If you do the wrong thing it will be found out'

'If you do the wrong thing it will be found out'

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Mitchell Johnson may quit T20s for Test cricket

Mitchell Johnson may quit T20s for Test cricket

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif said Tuesday he turned down the job of national chief selector because he could not work with ex-players tainted… More »

We are not over-confident: Bailey

We are not over-confident: Bailey

Indian Premier League — George Bailey-led Kings XI Punjab will face Chennai Super Kings on Friday. More »

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

MoU between BCCI & its units to avoid double taxation delayed after a few decline to share details. More »

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Their main concern, once again, is the fast bowling More »

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

New Zealand selectors included two new caps in a 15-man Test squad named Tuesday to tour the West Indies, with injury-hit spinner Dan Vettori's future… More »

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The Preview — Defending champions Mumbai Indians take on Kolkata Knight Riders More »

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

He was aggrieved by the allegations against him during the hearing. More »

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Michael Klinger has revealed he felt compelled to leave South Australia after being told he would be only a fringe part of the Redbacks' plans for next season, and disputed the suggestion that he left… More »

India: cricket's Brazil

India: cricket's Brazil

They are tough to beat with a big talent base exposed to good facilities. (CYCSPL) More »

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Franchises are doing their bit to refurbish the image of the tainted league. More »

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

The revival of Indo-Pak Test ties could take place in UAE. More »

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

'This time around we will hope to go few more steps ahead and actually get that trophy' More »

Gavaskar can help IPL regain glory

Gavaskar can help IPL regain glory

Apart from the foreign players a lot of behind-the-scene activity has taken place in selecting the Indian domestic players. More »

Tendulkar, Ganguly to promote soccer

Tendulkar, Ganguly to promote soccer

Leading Spanish club Atletico Madrid and former cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly are among the owners of eight franchises of a new Indian… More »

This isn’t my first trip to India: Neesham

This isn’t my first trip to India: Neesham

Kiwi all-rounder wants to utilise the India leg to explore the country’s tourist attractions. More »

Ishant wanted to quit ODIs

Ishant wanted to quit ODIs

Says his mother made him change his mind. More »