Institute for Social and Economic Change
Working Paper: 417
Karnataka State Budgets – How Far Have
they Promoted Inclusiveness?
Promotion of inclusive development is possible when the policy is adequately backed by budgetary support and effective implementation. The paper aims to analyze the inclusiveness of the budgets of a fiscally progressive state, Karnataka, over the last two and a half decades. First, the paper analyses the inclusive philosophy underlying budget allocations under different political parties that have held power and how it has changed over time by analyzing the budget speeches. It is found that Congress regime under the chief minister ship of Mr. Siddaramaiah is observed to be more inclusive. Secondly, the paper attempts an analysis of the corresponding budget allocations to the sectors that enhance inclusiveness. Budget analysis has revealed a considerable shift towards social sector expenditure, which tends to be more inclusive. Special programs have been conceived, such as the Scheduled Caste Sub Plan, Tribal Sub Plan, Mahila Abhivrudhi Yojane etc., with higher allocation of resources. There are, however, serious issues such as actual expenditure falling far short of allocation, considerable bunching with close to fifty percent of the expenditure incurred in the last quarter, and lopsided regional distribution of resources. That are better off is more than the backward districts. We argue that in addition to adequate resource allocation to address inclusiveness, proper execution of schemes and good planning of expenditure is the need of the hour to realize the developmental outcomes envisioned.