The 2021-22 union budget evoked responses on expected lines in Karnataka on Monday with Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa saying it has come as a catalyst that can revive the sluggish economy and opposition leaders slamming it as "Aatma Barbad" "Aatma Vanchane".
BS Yeddiyurappa said he strongly believed that the budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will act as a "speed booster" to the economy which was badly hit due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Describing it as pro-poor and pro-middle class, he said it was impossible to expect a better budget amidst the pandemic.
Former Karnataka chief ministers K Siddaramaiah of Congress and HD Kumaraswamy of the JDS flayed the decision to impose Agriculture Infrastructure and Development cess on petrol, diesel, fertilisers among others, saying it will increase the price of commodities and affect everyone.
Mr Yediyurappa, who holds the state's finance portfolio, said: "The Union Finance Minister has announced necessary strategies for economic revival as well as containment of the pandemic."
It was a welcome measure that the COVID-19 vaccination drive has been allocated Rs 35,000 crore and the Finance Minister assured more funds in case of necessity, the Chief Minister said, adding strengthening of agriculture sector, skill development, infrastructure development and industrial development had been given a special emphasis in the budget.
"The budget has provided a platform to double the farmer's income by 2022 as per the aspiration of Honble Prime Minister Narendra Modiji," he said and added Rs 16.50 lakh crore has been allocated for Agriculture and Rural Development.
Strengthening and continuation of minimum support price (MSP) to farmers has been emphasised.
Funds to improve the infrastructure in APMCs, doubling the grants for micro irrigation and value addition programme for 22 crops will help farmers in a great way, he further said, adding that tax holiday for construction of affordable houses will benefit the middle class.
Noting that Rs 1.10 lakh crore has been allocated under National Railway Project, BS Yediyurappa said, it was a welcome move to have provided Rs 1.07 lakh crores for capital expenditure.
"An amount of Rs 14,778 crore has been announced for Bengaluru Metro Project....58 kms of new route can be constructed due to this provision. This is the biggest gift to Karnataka from our own Finance Minister," he added.
Exemption of filing Income tax returns to senior citizens above 75 years was also an appreciable measure, he said.
"On the whole, the Union Budget 2021-22 has the potential to be a catalyst to revive the economy and implement development programmes. I wholeheartedly welcome this budget," he added.
Mr Siddaramaiah in a tweet said: "Nirmala Sitharaman had announced Aatma Nirbhar package to provide relief from Covid induced fallout.
As a follow up, ''Aatma Barbaad'' budget has been announced today," K Siddaramaiah tweeted.
"People had to face huge hardships due to Covid. Many lost jobs, Farmers could not sell their produce and Businesses went bankrupt. Yet there is no programme in the 2020-21 budget to address these issues," he claimed.
"Taxes are an inherent component of revenue mobilisation for govt projects. In order to avoid direct increase of tax, Nirmala Sitharaman is trying to increase the cess in the name of farmers," he said.
In spite of being a Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka, Mr Sitharaman has completely ignored the state, he said, accusing her of allocating more funds to states where elections were due in the next one year.
"If Karnataka goes for election every year, we may get more funds," he added.
Mr Kumaraswamy also took to Twitter and said the Centre that has hiked prices, while claiming its budget was aimed at involving Aatma Nirbhar Bharat, was indulging in talks of "Aatma Vanchane" (self deception).
"Is it possible for India to be self-reliant with such a hike in prices. Diesel and petrol prices are already increasing. It looks like the Centre seems to have not taken into account the impact of the new hike in prices," he said.