Viewing the budget in light of lost revenue and increased expenses due to COVID-19: CM

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Govt. spent ₹15,645 crore on COVID packages and infrastructure, while income revenue was cut by ₹21,835 crore: Bommai

Govt. spent ₹15,645 crore on COVID packages and infrastructure, while income revenue was cut by ₹21,835 crore: Bommai

Amid criticism from the opposition over the increase in the budget deficit in 2022-23, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Friday that the budget should be seen in the context of COVID-19 which has reduced revenues and increased costs. pandemic-related expenses.

“The loan component increased due to lower revenue and increased expenditure related to COVID-19. Government spent ₹15,645 crore on COVID-related packages and infrastructure while government revenue have been reduced by ₹21,835 crore,” Bommai, who holds the finance portfolio, told the Legislative Council when responding to the budget debate.

Despite the dire financial situation, he said the size of the budget increased to ₹2.65 lakh crore, 7.9% higher than in 2021-22. “Efforts have been made to reduce incurred expenses by about 8% and increase fiscal efforts by stopping looting. I expect another ₹8,000 crore to be collected in trade tax, while excise revenue is expected to increase by ₹2,000 crore and stamp duty by around ₹1,000 crore.

He said that the debt which is currently at 27.4% of the GSDP will be reduced in the coming years, and that the state has not opted for higher borrowing although it is possible. Bommai said a budget deficit of 3.26% remained within limits and hoped to do better. “In 2021-22, although it was estimated that it would be loaned to the tune of ₹67,100 crore, the state ended up borrowing ₹4,000 crore less at ₹63,100 crore,” said he declared.

With a revenue shortfall of ₹14,699 crore, Karnataka is still better than comparable states like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan, he added. “In fact, although a revenue shortfall of ₹15,645 crore was estimated in 2021-2022, it ended at only ₹6,478 crore,” he said. He blamed the coalition government for reducing the decentralization of the Center by not making a strong case for the state before the 15th Finance Committee.

Expressing confidence that the state will grow above the 9.5% target in the coming fiscal year, Bommai said the budget will provide a boost to growth.

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