K’taka budget to focus on development, women: CM

Putting behind the travails of the Covid-19 pandemic that disrupted normal life for nearly a year, Karnataka budget for fiscal 2021-22 would focus more on development works and women’s welfare, said state Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Sunday.

“The state budget for the ensuing fiscal will give priority to development works and women’s welfare. This is my assurance to all women in the state,” said Yediyurappa in Kannada at a public event at Soraba in Karnataka’s Shivamogga district.

The month-long budget session of the state legislature will begin on March 4 and Yediyurappa, who holds the finance portfolio, will present his 8th budget on March 8 in the legislative assembly.

The year-long pandemic, which invaded the southern state on March 8, 2020, stalled most of the development works though allocations were made in the budget for fiscal 2020-21 but could not be spent due to Covid-induced lockdown and restrictions to prevent the virus spread.

“Besides coronavirus, heavy rains and floods during the extended southwest monsoon in August-October have also reduced tax collections and revenue mobilisation, as the economy was unlocked gradually and the new normal set in to check the pandemic,” recalled Yediyuarappa on the occasion.

The BJP-ruled state government resorted to borrowings and raised loans to augment resources for the development works since November as more funds were used in fighting the Covid war over the last 10 months.