Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah today has presented the state’s 2016-2017 budget with a major focus on agriculture as he announced that along with Special Economic Zones, Special Agricultural Zones will be identified across the state.
- The Special Agricultural Zones will focus mostly on efficient technologies for achieving productivity as well as putting significance on organic farming and other related technologies. For the capital of the state- Bengaluru, Rs. 100 crore has been allotted for developing lakes. Also, he further added that the government will undertake rejuvenation work of Bellandur and Varthur lakes under PPPL (public-private partnership) model.
- Also, three major corridors in the state will be constructed under PPP model with a cost of Rs. 18,000 crore to lessen the havoc traffic congestion which is always a worrisome experience for commuters. However, taxes on petrol which is already extremely costly will only go even more up this time from 26% to 30%. This means that the commuters will have to pay an extra Rs. 1.89 for petrol whereas 98 paisa for every litre of diesel. The tax in diesel has seen a rise of 3%.
- Taxes on both beer and imported liquor and other forms of soft drinks have been hiked as well. Also, motor vehicle taxes on vans and buses have been increased while the state has completely abolished agriculture income tax on plantation crops. However, the state is moving towards eco-friendly ambience and that is why safety measures have been relieved like lesser tax has been implied (from 14.5% to 5.5.%) on helmets, LED bulbs, rubber sheets, Set-top boxes, multi-media speakers, adult diapers etc. But all electric vehicles have been completely exempted from taxes.
- Also, a chair for religious minorities will be established at Kalburgii University. A special grant of Rs. 1 crore has been allotted for developing Agricultural Coop Society. Mr. Siddaramaiah also revealed that Karnataka Warehosue Cooperation will turn 20% capacity into cold storage facilities. Simultaneously, skill development and livelihood department will be established under the chief minister. Lastly, outstanding loans with interest of Rs. 473 lakh by fisheries coop societies will be relinquished.