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"People Will Teach A Lesson To BJP": Siddaramaiah

08:26 AM Apr 07, 2024 IST | appteam
 people will teach a lesson to bjp   siddaramaiah
"People Will Teach A Lesson To BJP": Siddaramaiah

Karnataka: Alleging non-release of disaster response funds by the Centre to the state, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the people of Karnataka will "teach the BJP a lesson for their lies and betrayal."

He also criticised Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for "perhaps deliberately confusing the two distinct funds," NDRF and SDRF.

"The central government seems to have no regard for Karnataka. Having failed to take timely action to conduct the HLC (High Level Committee) meeting and decide on our NDRF claims, they are deploying central ministers to come to Bengaluru and give statements based either on half-truths or blatant lies, and they think people can be confused," Siddaramaiah said in a post on 'X' Saturday.

Siddaramaiah also took a jibe at Sitharaman, emphasising the distinction between the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) and the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).
"Madam @nsitharaman, let me enlighten you as to how disaster management is dealt with. There are 2 funds: SDRF & NDRF. Funds under SDRF are allocated every year and this is shared between the centre and state in the ratio of 75:25. This fund is state's right, & its quantum is determined by the Finance Commission SDRF is used for routine disaster relief. When the scale of the disaster is large, a memorandum is submitted to the centre for funds under NDRF. Drought in Karnataka is unprecedented, with 225 out of 250 taluks declared drought affected. The money available under SDRF is not sufficient to provide for crop failure of over 48 lakh hectares belonging to 34 lakh farmers. For providing relief for crop losses as per the norms, we need 4663 crores. This money is farmer's right."

"Instead of deciding on it in a timely manner, Amit Shah and Nirmala Sitaraman are splitting hair. This strategy appears aimed at baffling the citizens of Karnataka while glossing over certain lapses," he added.

He raised concerns over the allocation and disbursement of funds to Karnataka by the central government, particularly pointing fingers at Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's handling of the situation.

"The Finance Minister, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, announced that the Central Government allocated Rs 697 crore to Karnataka from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF). It's important to understand that this fund is something states are entitled to based on the Finance Commission's recommendation, it is not a favour. We've been judicious in utilizing these funds, especially in combatting drought conditions. Yet, with drought-induced damages escalating beyond Rs 37,000 crore, our plea for additional support of Rs 18,171 crore from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) seems to be falling on deaf ears. The Finance Minister is perhaps deliberately confusing the two distinct funds," the tweet said.

Siddaramaiah further criticised Sitharaman's statements regarding special grants recommended by the Finance Commission.

"The narrative of Smt @nsitharaman becomes more tangled with her statements on special grants. She implied that the Finance Commission recommended special grants of Rs 5,495 crore only in an initial report and not in the subsequent one, leading to the non-disbursement of these grants by the Union Government. This portrayal is misleading. The 15th Finance Commission issued two comprehensive reports, one for the year 2020-21 and another for the years 2021-26, without making a distinction between 'preliminary' and 'final' recommendations. Her claims starkly misrepresent the Finance Commission's stance," Siddaramaiah said.

Siddaramaiah also raised a question on interest-free loans, stating, "Furthermore, in response to queries regarding the Rs 6,000 crore earmarked for significant infrastructure and environmental projects, as endorsed by the Finance Commission, the Finance Minister pointed to interest-free loans provided by the Central Government. This raises a pertinent question: Why should Karnataka resort to loans when it is entitled to these funds as per the Commission's recommendations?"

Siddaramaiah concluded by casting doubt on Sitharaman's proficiency and understanding of fiscal policies.

"These incidents cast doubt on the Finance Minister's proficiency and understanding of fiscal policies. Is she genuinely equipped to navigate the complexities of the Finance Ministry, and does she grasp the basic tenets of financial governance?" Siddaramaiah said.
In the end, Siddaramaiah said, "The people of Karnataka will teach the BJP a lesson for their lies and betrayal. Shame on BJP."

Karnataka, which has 28 Lok Sabha seats, will vote in two phases on April 26 and May 7. The counting of votes is on June 4.

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