Congress govt in Karnataka woos farmers, BCs in state budget
Bangalore: After its flagship Re 1 per kg rice scheme for BPL cardholders, the Congress-led Karnataka government in its `revised` 2013-14 budget on Friday sought to woo farmers and backward classes with eyes set on Lok Sabha polls.
In the "revised" budget, erasing the previous BJP government`s that was presented in February before it bowed out of office, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announced loans up to Rs 2 lakh to farmers at zero per cent interest rate.
It would be at 1 per cent interest rate for Rs 2 lakh to Rs 3 lakh from cooperative institutions. Three per cent interest rate to loans up to Rs 10 lakh was continued.
Earlier, short term loan up to Rs 1 lakh was provided at zero per cent interest and at one per cent interest from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 3 lakh.
Siddaramaiah, who also holds the finance portfolio, announced that the creamy layer limit of Backward Classes would be enhanced from the existing Rs 3.5 lakh to Rs 4.5 lakh. "Caste wise, social and education survey of all castes will be undertaken through Permanent Backward Classes Commission."
The Chief Minister announced reduction of sales tax on diesel from 16.75 per cent to 15.65 per cent. The price of diesel would now come down by 51 paise per litre in Bangalore.
Government proposed to increase the rate of additional excise duty by 16 per cent to 40 per cent across all 17 slabs.
"Relief and measures for additional resource mobilisation along with effective compliance and enforcement measures are expected to fetch additional Rs 1452 crore", he said weighing the impact on the finances of the State due to commitments on subsidy schemes.
VAT rates, which had been increased from five per cent to 5.5 per cent, and from 14 per cent to 14.5 per cent for a period of one year from August 2012 was proposed to be continued beyond July 31 this year, Siddaramaiah said.
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