With Assembly elections in Karnataka round the corner, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai will present his government's last budget on Friday, which is most likely to be "please-all", with an eye on the polls.
Stating that this would be a "pro-people" budget, Bommai had repeatedly in recent days stated that it will focus on programmes that would give more support to poor, weaker sections, farmers, working classes, women and youth, among others. The budget to be presented by Bommai, who also holds the Finance portfolio is likely to be aimed at pleasing all sections of the society, and the Chief Minister is also likely to highlight the achievements of the government, official sources said.
"A record collection of Rs 6,085 crore has been made under GST this month. Karnataka continues to be the state with the highest growth rate of 30 per cent in the GST tax collection," Bommai said last week. This year's remarkable mop up is due to measures undertaken for reforms, focused vigilance, recovery in economy and better compliance by taxpayers. "This augmentation to revenue will allow the government to present a better budget this year," he had said.
The Chief Minister has also said that the government will come out with an "action taken report" during the budget, regarding the fulfilment of the promises made by the ruling BJP, ahead of the 2018 assembly polls. The Congress, especially Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah, has repeatedly been attacking the BJP government claiming that the ruling party had given 600 promises in its election manifesto, but hardly 10 per cent of them had been fulfilled.
Bommai is also likely to make some big ticket announcements like welfare schemes and give push to infrastructure projects, with an eye on the Assembly election likely to be held in April-May. There are also hopes that he may make some announcement to fulfill the demands by several key communities.
There are expectations about the infrastructural push that the Chief Minister, who also holds the Bengaluru city in-charge portfolio, may announce in the budget, in the backdrop of its perennial traffic woes, rain and flood related fury that battered parts of the city last year.