Insight Online News
Bengaluru, Jul 31, : Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai is scheduled to meet Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and press for an immediate release of Rs 18,000 crore loan to address the financial situation of the state.
“When I meet Nirmala Sitharaman, I will request (Sitharaman) to immediately release Rs 18,000 crore loan to the state. Because of Covid-19, there has been a bit of a problem (financial crunch),” he told reporters in Delhi.
Karnataka is facing a funds crunch due to increased spending on Covid-19 care arising from the second wave of infections and increasing committed expenditure.
The biggest burden for the government is employees’ salaries while commercial tax collection has nosedived from Rs 10,300 crore in March to a mere Rs 4,304 crore in April. Revenues also had plummeted due to lockdowns.
Bommai will also discuss the pending GST compensation dues to Karnataka. “I will also discuss the issue of GST compensation dues to the state. Last year the Centre had released Rs 11,000 crores as GST dues. Another Rs 11,000 crore should come to Karnataka. This I will discuss with the finance minister,” he told reporters in Delhi.
Under the present agreement between the GST Council and states, compensation paid to state governments to offset losses arising out of implementing GST ends in 2022.
Bommai would also ask Sitharaman to release funds related to the central schemes to Karnataka.
Steps To Tackle Flood Situation
Bommai said he has already directed the officials to start the relief and rescue operations in flood-affected areas, besides has alerted SDRF and NDRF and told all deputy commissioners to release relief compensation amount to the marooned people.
“WE will do everything so that the marooned are not disappointed. We will also make all arrangements to provide them with breakfast, lunch, and dinner,” he added.
Concerning Covid, Bommai said he would hold meetings with the officials of the bordering areas of Kerala as soon as he returns to Bengaluru. “Concerning Covid, I have already asked the district officials of Mangaluru, Dakshin Kannada, Chikmagalur, Chamrajnagar, Mysuru, and Coorg (Kodagu) and give them further directions to check Covid,” he said.
Also, he would look into the matters relating to drugs and vaccines and take stringent measures to fight Covid, Bommai added.