Bengaluru, Feb 05: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that a protest would be organized at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi at 11.00 am on February 07 to draw the attention of the central government and the people of the country to protect the interests of the state.
He was speaking at a press conference today held at conference hall, Vidhansouda It is our duty to do justice for the opportunity given to us by the people of the state. We were waiting patiently that the central government would provide justice in the Federal system. We were waiting for them to act as they promised in last year's budget. The State government is inviting all parties to join the protest and provide justice to Kannadigas. We are protesting to make the Union Government hear our vows, he said.
Continuous injustice to the State The Union Government has declared to provide 5300 crores to the Upper Bhadra scheme in the last year's budget and they have not released a single rupee so far. There is no money for drought relief either. He said that they have not even been permitted to increase the man days to 150 days. This is not a political protest by the Congress party against the BJP. We are organizing the protest inevitably. The attention of the people of the country should be drawn. We are protesting about the step-motherly attitude of the central government, the discrimination in financial distribution, the step-motherly treatment shown in drought relief. He said that all MLAs and MLCs are also participating in the protest.
Loss to State in Tax Share:
In the federal system, through the constitution, the Union and the states and the union territories have agreed to serve the people. The central government's tax money is the tax money from the states, the money is collected from cess, petrol, diesel, surcharge is supposed to be distributed to the centre and the states. Article 7 of the Constitution makes the Finance Commission an independent body. So far there have been 15 Finance Commissions. Presently the 16th Finance Commission has been constituted and the Chairman has been appointed. Under the 14th Finance Commission the State share which was 4.71% was decreased to 3.64% in the 15th Finance Commission. That is 1.07% reduction, which means that there is Rs. 45,000 crores decrease in 4 years. According to the estimate, Rs 62098 crore will be reduced for Karnataka, the Chief Minister explained.
Rs. 73,593 crores less in tax share for the state
As the Finance Commission has reduced from 4.71% to 3.74% while allocating the share, it has given a special grant of Rs 5495 crore. It was recommended in the interim budget.
I had presented the issue in the assembly to urge the central government to release this amount. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has rejected this. In the final report, it was recommended to allot Rs 6000 crore which includes Rs. 3000 crores for development of lakes and Rs. 3000 for peripheral ring road , additionally. He said that the state has lost Rs 62,098 crore in the tax share allocation of the 15th Finance Commission from 2020-21 to 2025-26. For the year 2020-21 and 2021-22, the state has lost Rs. 11,495 crores without providing special grants. He said that in the 15th Finance Commission, there was a decrease of Rs.73593 crore.
Injustice to the state in GST
We have often underlined that GST was unscientific when it was implemented. Then the tax collection growth rate of the state was 15%. The central government had said that this would increase the tax and central grants. But the centre had promised that they would provide compensation. The compensation has been stopped from June 2022.. They have given compensation only for 5 years. Because of this, our tax collection growth is unlikely to reach 15% again. Hence, we have urged to continue the compensation. But Centre has taken any decision till date regarding continuation of compensation. He said that even now we are being treated unfairly under GST.
State’s share is only Rs.12 in Rs.100
Rs.4,30,000 crore tax is being collected from Karnataka. Our state stands second in tax collection after Maharashtra. This year Rs.37,252 crores in tax share, 13,005 crore in the centrally sponsored scheme amounting to a total 50,257 crore has been provided to the state. This shows that the State is receiving only Rs.12-13 rs out of Rs.100 and the rest is being kept by the central government, he said.
In 2017-18, the central budget size was Rs. 21,46,735 crore. Out of which State had received 31908 crore and Grants of 16072 crore making a total of 47,990 crores. In 2018-19, the Central’s Budget size was 24,42,213 crores. Then the devolution was 36215 crores and the total was reduced by Rs. 2000 crores.
In 2023-24, the size of the Central budget is 45,03,097 crore and the State’s share is estimated to 50257 crore only. Devolution for the year 2024-25 is decreased from 2.2 to 1.23 percent. Hence the injustice to the state is constantly rising.
State's tax share should have been doubled
When the budget size doubled, the state's tax share also had to be doubled. But now it is reduced by more than half. Cess and surcharge are increasing every year. Not a single paise is returned to the states. But both cess and sur charge are collected by the states itself.
We are going to raise our voice about the need to pay the State’s share in the cess and surcharge.
This way 15th Finance Commission constituted after Modi came to power has meted out injustice of Rs. 1,87,867 crores, the CM explained through statistics. Our State is under loss because we have not received such a large amount.
Injustice in irrigation schemes
Centre had declared that they would provide 5300 crore for Upper Bhadra Project. While presenting the budget Basavaraja Bommai had presented the same grant as irrigation project grants. This is a project which provides water to an area of 2.5 lakh hectares. "But we have not received a single rupee in this regard and I demand to release at least now," the CM said.
Environmental clearance of Mahadayi Yojana has not sanctioned till date. Clearance has not been provided to commence the project. The Upper Bhadra Project has not been declared as a national project. The gazette notification has not been issued till date, the CM said.
Mekedatu scheme which provides drinking water to Bangalore, has not been given permission till date.
Out of 236 taluks, 223 taluks are drought affected. Even though 123 are affected by severe drought, not a single rupee is sanctioned by the Centre
Useless to wait like Shabari
On September 23, the central team visited to Karnataka and has given the report to the Centre.. Our ministers came back after waiting like Sabari. The CM retorted that Union Minister Amit Shah had assured to call a meeting when the CM met him, but he has not called any meeting so far.
Till today, Preliminary meeting has not been called. “I had requested Prime Minister Modi when he visited Bangalore”. We have requested for a compensation of Rs. 17901 crore from the Centre while our crop loss is Rs. 35,000 Crore. But not a single rupee released by NDRF. Even when there was floods in 2019, No relief from NDRF was released by Prime Minister Modi, even after the requests from the then CM Yeddiyurappa .
Hen laying golden eggs should not be beheaded
The central government has not released funds even when there was flood in 2021. Six criteria such as population, area, income gap, forest area, tax financial conditions are considered while allocating compensation. We have not received relief as per the criteria. Our state should not be treated unfairly. The Centre is exhibiting stepmotherly treatment by not replying to our repeated requests. We are questioning whether this is a federal system if the ministers are not allowed to meet, the funds are not released for drought, and when the distribution is unfair. We are not against providing grants to northern states. But injustice should not be done to the southern states. Hen that lays the golden egg should not be beheaded, and the udder that gives milk should not be cut. He said that the Centre has not cared to the request and demand.
Injustice to the state by Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
Former CMs Yediyurappa and Bommai do not open their mouths in front of the Prime Minister. Opposition Leader R. Ashok does not know about this. Prahlad Joshi and Shobha Karandlaje are Union Ministers from the state. 27 MPs have not spoken about this in the Parliament. People have elected them to speak but they are sitting with their eyes closed. Rs. 11,000 crore has been rejected by the Union Finance Minister herself. He said that though Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was elected from the state, there has been more injustice in the state.
Opposition parties also invited for the protest
We are inviting the BJP MLAs, MPs and leaders for the protest. We are not protesting against BJP. We are protesting on behalf of the state, he said. . We call on the BJP to stand up for the people of the state and be the voice of the people of the state. Do not betray Kannadigas, come and raise your voice for the state. If you do not protest, Kannadigas will be betrayed, he said
There is hope
Replying to a question, the CM said that he is hopeful that the central government will release funds as Narendra Modi is a sensitive person.
Talking about Nirmala Sitharaman's statement that more money is going to guarantee schemes, he said that this is incorrect. Replying to a question, the CM said that the state government was seriously considering issuing a white paper.