In his maiden budget for 2022-23 presented on Friday, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai proposed for doing away with government control on temples in the state by giving autonomy to those coming under the purview of Endowment department. We talk to students and educationist what they feel about the budget.
A visionless Karnataka budget of 2022-23
T. R. Chandrashekhar, a retired lecturer have no hopes of a good budget from a government that gave priority to issues like Hijab, religious conversions, love jihad and privatization of temple.
And, the budget clearly show it!
The government has allocated Rs. 100 crore for Anjanadri temple development in Koppal. The government has allocated Rs. 15 crore for Raichur University. One can see what are the priorities of the government.
Encouragement for temples and negligence for education
The Union Government had granted Rs. 21.73 crore to the State government for 2019-20 as share of the State from the tax collection. But this year, the Centre has given only Rs. 17.71 crore. Actually, the State was supposed to receive a share of Rs. 18,109 crore from the centre.
The revenue deficit of the government for 20220-23 is around Rs. 14699 crore. The total budget size is Rs. 2.65 lakh crore, of which the loan amount is 27.09 %. This will again have to be borne by the poor citizens of the State.
The government has allocated only 14.98% budget for the welfare of Dalits and Tribal communities who are 24.01% of the total population of the state. There hasnt been any allocation for the welfare of minorities especially muslims who form 15% of the population.
Around 2.53 lakh posts are vacant in different government departments. The budget has no mention of this aspect as to how and when these vacancies will be filled up.
There are demands from the people to extend MGNREGA even to urban areas as many people have lost their employment. There is no reference in the budget.
NITI Ayog has already said that poverty is rampant in Kalyana Karnataka (Hyderabad Karnataka) region, but the budget mentions nothing on this aspect.
Government has completely shed its responsibility for the people
AIDSO (All India Democratic Student organisation) State Committee leader also points out the government hypocrisy in its allocation for education.
The government has allocated only 12% for the education sector in the budget. This is despite many experts had suggested it to be atleast 40% of the total budget. With the limited allocation, it is indeed possible to maintain the present educational institutions, however it is not possible to construct new schools and colleges.
The government is claiming that it is offering help to avail loan facilities to poor and meritorious engineering students. This is certainly not any help, but an attempt of the government to run away from its responsibility.
The government should have reduced the cost of higher education. More government colleges should be established. This would have immensely helped the students. But in the guise of loan, the government is putting more financial burden on the students.
The government had announced that the budget would be pro-student, but the announcement did not materialize.
B. Sripad Bhat, an Educationist and Activist from Bengaluru questions the limited education budget. He says that experts have already cautioned the government on the hurdle to be faced during the implementation of new education policy in the State. The Budget is reflecting all the issues mentioned already.
Anganwadis are like a non-formal education system. But the government is now trying to make it formal. The discussion started on NEET mainly after we saw the situation of the Indian medical students who were stranded in Ukraine.
But leave NEET, the government is running away from the public education system itself.
If the government takes complete responsibility for the education sector and in a way, it should run the public education system properly.
The budget has lost the importance related to vital sectors such as agriculture, health and education.
Negligence of districts of central Karnataka
Mallikarjunappa, who is a Retired Principal and an economic and educational Thinker from Chitradurga district has questioned the absence of central Karnataka in the budget.
The budget has given prominence for the development of Bengaluru and the districts of North Karnataka region. The government has assured the establishment of medical colleges in the district such as Chitradurga but has not allocated required funds.
It is more an election budget as the State is heading towards assembly polls next year. But belief that a double engine government ( BJP in centre as well as state) gives more importance to development, has fallen flat.
The article was first published in naanugauri.com, our sister website. It is translated into English by Firoz Rozindar.