Feb 7 protest is against step-motherly treatment meted out to K’taka: Siddaramaiah

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Feb 7 protest is against step-motherly treatment meted out to K’taka: Siddaramaiah

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday said the proposed protests of Karnataka Congress in New Delhi on February 7 are against the step-motherly treatment meted out to the state by the Central government.

Karnataka Congress will organise a protest in New Delhi on February 7 which will be led by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah against not releasing funds for the drought-hit state. The Congress has asked all its ministers, MLAs and MLCs from across the state to attend the proposed protest.

“All ministers and MLAs from Karnataka are leaving for New Delhi on Tuesday evening. We want to draw the attention of the nation and the Central government towards the injustice meted out to Karnataka in the budget,” the Chief Minister told media persons.

He said that to date, Karnataka was not released its judicious share of Rs 1.87 lakh crore by the Central government.

“From the 14th Finance Commission to the 15th Finance Commission, the allocation of funds to Karnataka has been reduced by 1.07 percent. In four years, the state was allocated Rs 45,000 crore which is less money in tax devolution alone. Karnataka has lost Rs 73,593 crore of its judicious share this year,” the Chief Minister said.

The Chief Minister said that the tax collections in Karnataka amount to Rs 4.30 lakh crore.

“We are number 2 after Maharashtra in terms of tax collection in the country. This year we got Rs 50,257 crore out of taxes. Out of Rs 100 collected from Karnataka, we are only getting Rs 12 to Rs 13 back,” the Chief Minister said.

He said that the budget size of the Central government has doubled from Rs 21.46 lakh crore in 2017-18 to Rs 45.03 lakh crore in 2023-24.

“The devolution which was 2.2 percent in 2017-18 has been reduced to 1.23 percent now. When the size of the budget increases, our grants should also increase but it has remained at Rs 50,257 crore only,” the Chief Minister said.

He said that Finance Minister Niramala Sitharaman announced Rs 5,300 crore funds for the Upper Bhadra project which aims to irrigate 2.50 lakh hectares.

“I demand that it should be released now,” the Chief Minister said.

He said that the gazette notification for the Mahadayi project has also been finalised but the environment clearance is not given by the Central government.

“This project will help to utilise the state’s share of 7.56 tmc of water. The Central government has also announced that it will declare the Upper Krishna scheme as a national project. The Mekedatu project has also not been given the green signal as of yet. The Central government must act soon,” the Chief Minister said.

He said that the Central government should give more funds to poor states of north India but should not do injustice with the southern state, especially with Karnataka.

“Chicken which gives golden eggs should not be killed,” the Chief Minister said.

He said that the BJP leaders and former chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa and Basavaraj Bommai never talked to the Central government about releasing Rs 1.87 lakh crore due to Karnataka.

“LoP R. Ashoka does not even have any idea about it. Ministers Pralhad Joshi, Shobha Karandlaje, and Bhagwant Khuba have also not raised their voice,” the Chief Minister said.

He said that the Finance Minister Niramala Sitharaman who was elected from Karnataka as MP is also not doing anything for the release of funds to Karnataka.

“I do hope that the state will get justice following our protests in New Delhi on February 7,” the Chief Minister said.

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