JD(S)-Congress government to present new budget

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Pick the perfect pair of jeans for your man- The New Indian Express
05/29/2018

JD(S)-Congress government to present new budget


BENGALURU: With the new elected government in place, the bureaucracy is waiting for cues from the JD(S)-Congress dispensation on its priorities to draft the governor’s address to the joint session of the Legislature.

Once the Cabinet clears the speech copy and the Legislature passes it with a motion of thanks to the governor’s address, the JD(S)-Congress regime will present its Budget, focussing its programmes on the priorities spelt out in the speech, for 2018-19.

Until the governor’s speech happens and the Budget is passed, nothing much will happen in the bureaucracy but for the continuation of existing welfare schemes, say officials. A governor having to make a speech to the Legislature second time in a year is a rare occurrence. The last such event happened in 2006 when the Dharam Singh regime fell on the very day the governor delivered his address. After JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy took over with the BJP’s support, the governor delivered his second address in deference to the Constitutional requirement. And, a second Budget followed, too. This time these processes are inevitable because we have just had an election, a former IAS officer explained.

Expenses on welfare schemes such as Anna Bhagya, Ksheera Bhagya and Indira Canteen would not suffer as the previous government had taken a vote on account from the previous Legislature to cover these expenses for the first few months. Other decisions, however, will have to wait, another official explained. In the best of times, a majority of government schemes such as those for which the Centre bears a bulk of expenditure and externally-aided projects continue regardless of political dispensation, he said.

It is more than three months now since Karnataka has gone into election mode, though officially the electoral code of conduct came into force only on March 27. And it is almost two months since the new financial year has begun but important decisions related to approvals, investments, licences and award of contracts have had to wait for want of a full-fledged Cabinet.

The IAS officers who are heading various departments are waiting for Cabinet expansion so that they will have elected representatives as their bosses who can take decisions. One may argue that a functional Cabinet consisting of chief minister HD Kumaraswamy and his deputy G Parameshwara is already in place, which can clear proposals. But the reality is the duo is more concerned about expanding the ministry in such a way that the exercise does not cause much heartburn.

There is also this requirement in the government that any proposal which involves an expenditure of ?10 crore and above will need the Cabinet’s approval. Any new proposal with that kind of budget will now need to wait.





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