Congress-JD(S) coordination committee today approved irrigation projects worth 1.25 lakh crore and cleared waiver of farm loans, a key political issue while green lighting a draft report on the Common Minimum Programme (CMP).
Ahead of the Assembly session, the Congress-JD(S) coordination committee today approved irrigation projects worth 1.25 lakh crore and cleared waiver of farm loans, a key political issue while green lighting a draft report on the Common Minimum Programme (CMP). Briefing reporters here at the end of second coordination committee meeting, JD(S) general secretary Danish Ali said the CMP has been agreed upon with minor changes and the entire document would be brought out in the form of a booklet.
Chief Minister Kumaraswamy, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, Congress general secretary and Karnataka in charge K C Venugopal, besides Ali, attended the meeting, which was chaired by former chief minister Siddaramaiah. The coordination committee of the JDS-Congress had appointed the drafting committee to prepare the CMP. Some highlights of the CMP are farm loan waiver, whose details would be released by the Chief Minister in his first budget speech, Ali said. The CMP has agreed to earmark Rs 1.25 lakh crore for irrigation projects in the next five years besides setting a target of building 20 lakh new houses for the needy. A new sports policy would also be announced, he said.
Another area where the government would focus is skill development with a target of creating one crore jobs in the next five years. “It will be a full-fledged budget, which will have all these. In addition, the previous Congress government’s flagship programmes will continue.. We will raise the funds maintaining fiscal discipline,” Ali said.
To a query on the deadline for the cut off date for farm loan waiver, Ali said, “I think it will be better if you can wait for another three days. In the budget speech, the chief minister will reveal it.” It will be a total farm loan waiver, comprising both nationalised and cooperative banks, he said. To a question on cabinet expansion, Ali said it might take place soon. “Tomorrow the new assembly session is starting… just after that there may be cabinet expansion. It was not discussed today but overall feeling is that (it may happen) at the earliest,” said Ali. On appointment of chairpersons of various boards and corporations, he said the matter was discussed and the list was exchanged and it would be finalised tomorrow. He denied that there differences between chief minister H D Kumaraswamy and former chief minister Siddaramaiah and alleged that these were created by some vested interests. “If you ask me, it is unethical to release anything which is being discussed privately among some individuals,” he said apparently referring to video footage in which Siddaramaiah is purportedly seen saying that the government may not last for more than a year and may come down soon after the Lok Sabha election.
The JD(S) supremo H D Devegowda had already announced that his son H D Kumaraswamy will table the budget on July 5. Divergent views have been aired in public by some Congress and JDS leaders on several issues, including presentation of the budget. Siddaramaiah, who held the finance portfolio in the previous government, had recently said there was no need for a fresh budget and insisted that a supplementary budget would do.