Karnataka’s tax collection up 11% in 6 months

Bengaluru: Karnataka’s tax collection went up 11 per cent in six months from April to September to Rs 75,634-crore, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy said on Tuesday.

“Taxes to the tune of Rs 75,634-crore were collected till the end of September, which is 11 per cent more than the same period of the previous fiscal,” Kumaraswamy told reporters here on the occasion of the Janata-Dal-Secular (JD-S)-Congress coalition government completing 150 days in office.

After forming a post-poll alliance with Congress, JD-S leader Kumaraswamy took the chief minister’s office on May 23, and presented his maiden budget on July 5, as he also holds the finance portfolio.

However, a total of 38 per cent budget expenditure was made by the coalition government during its term so far, of the state’s estimated total expenditure of Rs 2,18,488-crore for the fiscal 2018-19.

The Chief Minister claimed that the coalition government, which had committed to waiving farm loans to the tune of Rs 43,448-crore from state-run nationalised banks and state co-operative banks, has also begun the process of obtaining the details of the loans obtained by 10 lakh farmers.

“Information will be obtained from farmers as well. Loan details obtained will be verified with the data,” he added.

The loan waiver will not affect other programmes as the state government has alternative resource mobilisation mechanism, the Chief Minister asserted.

Ordinance on the Debt Relief Act-2018 is awaiting President Ram Nath Kovind’s approval, he said.

The Debt Relief Act-2018 has been formulated to protect interests of small farmers, agricultural labourers, small vendors and the poor from being harassed by money lenders.

“The President as well as Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh were briefed about the provisions of the Act and were requested to approve it,” Kumaraswamy said.

After the state’s Kodagu district was affected by floods in August, the state has released Rs 127-crore so far for rehab works in the district, he stated.

The Chief Minister’s Relief Fund has received Rs 187.16-crore donations from public for the flood-hit district’s relief so far. Bengaluru-based Infosys Foundation had contributed Rs 25-crore aid to the district, Kumaraswamy said.

“Kodagu Reconstruction Authority is being formed under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister to rebuild houses,” he added.

Initiatives have also been taken by the state to provide scholarships online to 56.69 lakh students belonging to Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and other backward classes, the Chief Minister said.