Karnataka CM cries foul over budget cut in GST share

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Friday cried foul over the Union Budget’s proposal to cut the state’s share of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in fiscal 2019-20.

“The Budget has given a big blow to the state’s economy, reducing its share of the GST by Rs 1,600 crore for this fiscal,” tweeted Kumaraswamy in Kannada and English.

In a series of tweets from the US where he is on a week-long private visit since June 29, the Chief Minister said the additional special duty of Re 1 and a road and infrastructure cess of Re 1 per litre on petrol and diesel would limit the state’s scope to increase its own value added tax (VAT) on the transport fuels.

“Fuel price hike by the Central government hits everyone directly and indirectly,” said Kumaraswamy in another tweet.

Expressing his disappointment over the Union Budget, the Chief Minister said he expected more from Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on sectoral allocations to the southern state.

“Sitharaman, who represents Karnataka in the Rajya Sabha as a BJP member, has disappointed me, as she did not announce any new project or financial aid to the state, especially the Bengaluru suburban train service for this year,” he lamented.

Noting that a budget was a not a mere statement of intent in the Indian context, Kumaraswamy said though a budget speech was the most important medium for communicating with the poor, Sitharaman’s speech had certain intents, but nothing beyond them.

“Had great expectations from the maiden budget of FM @Sitaraman, but disappointed. Though creation of FPOs (Farmer Producer Organisations) and strengthening of e-NAM (electronic National Agriculture Market) and promoting traditional industries are welcome moves, more morale boosting programmes were desirable for the farming sector,” he said in a tweet.

Kumaraswamy, who also holds the finance portfolio, had presented his second state budget for fiscal 2019-20 on February 8, 2019.


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