Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday opposed the government’s budgetary proposal to raise taxes on petrol and diesel prices and demanded their rollback, reported The Hindu. In a letter to Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, Siddaramaiah pointed out that the Congress was protesting against the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Centre over the increase in fuel prices.
“At this juncture, your decision to hike petrol and diesel prices may affect the common man,” said Siddaramaiah, who is the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coordination committee chief, in the letter.
On July 5, Kumaraswamy announced a Rs 34,000 crore loan waiver for farmers capped at Rs 2 lakh by raising the excise duty and increasing fuel prices. Kumaraswamy will address the Assembly during a debate on the budget on Thursday, reported PTI.
Siddaramaiah also demanded that the monthly supply of 7 kg of rice to Below Poverty Line families under the Anna Bhagya scheme be restored, reported The Hindu. Kumaraswamy had reduced the quota to 5 kg in his budget.
Siddaramaiah said the subsidy amount that his government had earmarked was Rs 2,450 crore and by reducing rice supply by 2 kg, Rs 600 crore to Rs 700 crore can be saved, reported PTI. However, this move may increase the the burden on the poor, he said, adding that he came to know from party leaders and activists across Karnataka that people have opposed this move.
The Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) forged a post-poll alliance to form the government in Karnataka. Janata Dal (Secular) Karnataka chief HD Kumaraswamy took oath as the chief minister on May 23.