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Budget 2012: Karnataka’s energy needs not met, says CM

The chief minister expressed displeasure at Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee’s budget as it has let down the state.

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Budget 2012: Karnataka’s energy needs not met, says CM
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With the state grappling with the prospect of a severe energy crisis, Karnataka had hoped for a few favourable initiatives in the Union budget to accelerate the state’s economic growth. But chief minister DV Sadananda Gowda, on Friday, expressed displeasure at Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee’s budget as it has let down the state.

Karnataka had sought dedicated coal blocks for its thermal power plants. “Some announcements have been made to make coal blocks available. However, it is not clear whether our coal requirement will be met as the announcement is for plants to be commissioned by 2014-15.  Similarly, our long-pending demand for allotment of gas has also been not considered. Karnataka does not figure in the package announced for weavers and artisans,” he said.

Terming the budget as a status-quo budget, he added: “It was expected that the finance minister will initiate steps to curb the rising prices of fuel. The budget can neither help economic growth nor revive the already sagging economy.”

“People have been suffering due to the high inflationary trend in the last two years. The two-digit inflation rate has not come down. Food inflation had ranged between 18% and 22%. The finance minister should have initiated some measures to control inflation. But the budget has disappointed the people,” he said.

Gowda expressed fears of the budget further fuelling the rise in inflation. “The hike in central excise and service tax by 2% (from 10% to 12%) will trigger higher inflation trends as the prices of goods and services will go up automatically, further burdening the middle classes and the poor,” he said.

He welcomed the decision to provide Rs50 crore for research initiatives at University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad.

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