Karnataka’s Siddaramaiah goes Arvind Kejriwal, Jayalalithaa and Narendra Modi way in his Budget, but not Nitish Kumar

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Updated: March 16, 2017 11:06:52 AM

Karnataka government's Rs 100 crore allocation for setting up Namma canteens to provide Rs 5 lunch and Rs 10 dinner is also very pro-poor but this is what J Jayalalithaa did for her state of Tamil Nadu.

India’s oil marketing companies, OMCs, Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum, Hindustan Petroleum, liquefied petroleum gas, LPG Connections, Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, PMUY, Ujjwala Plus scheme, petroleum ministryThe free water to slum dwellers that the chief minister of Karnataka announced today was something that chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal also did for Delhi (Source: PTI)

It is a very populist budget, indeed. Karnataka’s chief minister, Siddaramiah has offered sops galore in his budget for 2017. For instance, the free water to slum dwellers that the chief minister of Karnataka announced today was something that chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal also did for Delhi. This was done after his party, AAP won a landslide victory in February 2015, his government announced that free water, up to 20,000 liters, would be provided to every household in Delhi. However, the scheme could not be implemented in New Delhi area as it falls under the jurisdiction of the NDMC. And in 2016, he announced it for New Delhi, NDMC area also.

Karnataka government’s Rs 100 crore allocation for setting up Namma canteens to provide Rs 5 lunch and Rs 10 dinner is also very pro-poor but this is what J Jayalalithaa did for her state of Tamil Nadu. Remember, Jayalalithaa introduced its first populist scheme with ‘Amma’ branding, the city corporation-run canteens that offered subsidised food as little as Re. 1. The canteens are a huge hit and are maintained by women Self Help Groups (SHG). Several states including Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi are running Amma-style canteens. Amma launched her schemes in 1990”s and Siddhramaiah is launching now.

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The free LPG service for 5 lakh families is another sop that Sidharamaiah has given to the people. This is something that Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered to the people of Uttar Pradesh. On May 1 he launched an ambitious Rs 8,000 crore scheme to provide 5 crore free LPG connections to BPL families using the money saved from 1.13 crore cooking gas users voluntarily giving up their subsidies. However, he did not imitate Nitish Kumar CM of Bihar in making Karnataka a liquor free state, rather removed the VAT so that liquor becomes cheaper.

These schemes will cost the Karnataka state exchequer a lot but will benefit crores of people, in the state. Every sop or service is either free or heavily subsidised.

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