Karnataka budget: Petrol, liquor, tobacco to be costlier

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Bengaluru, March 13 (DHNS): Liquor and tobacco products are set to become more expensive as CM Siddaramaiah increased the VAT on them from between 17 to 24 percent, while presenting his 10th state budget on Friday.

He also announced 1 percent hike in tax on petrol and diesel in the state budget for 2015-16.

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There was a small relief for consumers as he made mobile phone chargers, footware, manufactured sand, wick stove, industrial cables, solar panels and solar inverters cheaper.

There was also some tax relief low-salaried individuals as professional tax for those earning up to Rs 15,000.

Siddaramaiah said he was presenting a responsible budget by keeping fiscal deficit within 25 percent for 2015-16 as mandated in Karnataka Fiscal Responsibility Act.

The total receipts are estimated at Rs 1,39,476 crore from this budget, while the total expenditure is pegged at Rs 1,42,534.

As usual, Bengaluru  got the CM’s attention: in order to make city roads safer for pedestrians, Siddaramaiah announced 25 new skywalks that will be built under PPP model.  Meanwhile, Rs 80 crore has been allocated to develop underpass and flyover at Hebbal junction, which witnessed a horrible road incident last month. Rs 44 crore has been allocated for a flyover at Doddanakundi.

Besides, several CCTV cameras will be installed across Bengaluru at an estimated cost of Rs 8 crore and free WiFi zones will be established across the city in phased manner.

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