News Brief

Karnataka Needs New Revenue Sources To Fund Congress Freebies, BCG Advises Monetising Land Around Bengaluru

Swarajya Staff

Jun 26, 2024, 07:29 PM | Updated 07:29 PM IST

Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah
Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah

Karnataka government since the implementation of its five guarantee schemes, which has costed nearly one-sixth (Rs 52,000 crore) of its Rs 3.46 lakh crore annual budget has been focussing on generating additional revenue.

Unhappy with the pace of resource mobilisation by various departments, the state government has engaged Boston Consulting Group (BCG) earlier this year to devise measures to improve its revenue streams.

A draft report from BCG has suggested identifying new revenue sources and proposed asset monetisation of government properties as per a report by The Indian Express.

One key recommendation involved monetising around 25,000 acres of land near Bengaluru, which drew criticism from the Opposition BJP, accusing the Congress government of selling off government properties.

In response to these reports, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) issued a clarification, stating there was "no proposal to monetise 25,000 acres of land" and emphasising the state's potential to raise additional non-tax revenue.

The statement clarified that idle land parcels would be developed to generate continuous revenue without selling them, while also noting the state’s focus on "innovative value-capturing financing methods" to generate extra revenue.

Since Congress assumed power in Karnataka last May, state finances have been scrutinised, with critics arguing that the five guarantees – Shakti (free bus rides for women), Gruha Lakshmi (Rs 2,000 per month for women heads of families), Gruha Jyothi (up to 200 units of free power), Anna Bhagya (5 kg of free rice per month per family member), and Yuva Nidhi (unemployment allowance for graduates and diploma holders) – would bankrupt the state.

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