Holding Prime Minister Narendra Modi responsible for non-payment of Karnataka’s share in Goods and Services Tax (GST), Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Siddaramaiah demanded that Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai put pressure on the Union Government to get the dues instead of resorting to loans.
“As per the arrangement, it is the duty of the Union Government to pay States’ share of GST. We [Karnataka] did not get our share in 2020, and even this year. States’ share in the devolution of funds has been reduced from 4.72% in 14th Finance Commission to 3.64% in the 15th Finance Commission. The reduction will result in a loss of Rs20,000 crore to Karnataka. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has rejected the special grant of Rs5,495 crore as recommended by the 15th Finance Commission,” Mr. Siddaramaiah said criticizing the BJP parliamentarians from the State for not raising their voice against the injustice that the Union Government is meting out to Karnataka.
He was addressing a media conference at Aiwan-e-Shahi Guest House in Kalaburagi on October 13.
On the other hand, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai is going to take loans to maintain the State’s finances instead of collecting the State’s share in GST. This is not good. Mr. Bommai should mount pressure on the Union government and collect our share of GST instead of resorting to loans,” Mr. Siddaramaiah said.
Criticizing the government for non-payment of compensation to flood-hit farmers, the former Chief Minister disagreed with the government’s reason for the non-payment.
"The government is yet to give any compensation to those who had lost houses and crops in the 2019 floods. It is citing COVID-19 as a reason for the lack of funds to initiate a compensation program. It might have spent aboutRs6,000 crores for handling the COVID-19 pandemic. But, the State budget size is Rs2.5 lakh crore, and the Union Government may have contributed some amount. How long can the government continue to cite a shortage of funds? Instead of working for the people, this government is busy in looting them,” Mr. Siddaramaiah said.