Cheers Bengaluru! Alcohol prices slashed across Karnataka; other highlights of the state Budget

Devyani Sultania
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Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah presented the state Budget for the year 2017-18 at the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday.

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The Budget is bound to bring a smile on the faces of movie-goers and beer and wine enthusiasts since the Karnataks government has abolished the additional excise duty on liquor and has also lifted Value Added tax (VAT) charges on beer, wine, fenny and hard liquor. 

Here are the highlights of the Budget:

  • The VAT charges on beer, wine, fenny and hard liquor will be removed from April 1 this year. Additional excise duty will also be abolished.
  • Maximum ticket prices at multiplexes have been fixed at Rs 200. Multiplex cinemas are mandated to screen Kannada and regional films in one screen during prime time between 1.30 pm to 7.30 pm.
  • Retirement age has been increased to 60 years.
  • Free laptops for 1st year students of engineering, medical, polytechnic and first grade colleges.
  • New airports will be constructed in Karwara, Madikeri and Chikkamagaluru.
  • The PWD will construct a 150 km road costing Rs 1455 crore through the state road development corporation to manage the traffic situation in Bengaluru
  • Namma canteens across the state will serve breakfast for Rs 5 and lunch/dinner for Rs 10.
  • The Bengaluru Development Authority will complete 3000 flats by the end of 2017-18
  • Two-wheelers costing above Rs 1 lakh will become costlier since MVT has been increased from 12 per cent to 18 per cent.
  • The BMTC will induct another 3000 buses, out of which 150 will run on electricity.  Fifty electric buses will be provided to Mysuru.
  • The government will set up a new Raichur University with all colleges in Raichur and Yadgir districts. The government has proposed to set up 25 new polytechnics in rural areas.
  • One ambulance service will be provided within a 10 to 15 km radius or for a 35,000 population. Ambulance services will be streamlined by integrating all 1538 ambulances under two different departments
  • Saviruchi Mobile Canteens, similar to Namma Canteen, will be set up across all 30 districts through Zilla Stree Shakthi associations
  • The government, under the Popular Ksheera Bhagya scheme, has proposed to provide milk to school children for five days a week instead of the existing three days.
  • Anganwadi children will be provided with eggs two days a week from June 2017.
  • The government will constitute a Karnataka State Road Safety Authority to reduce road accidents and make roads safer for the citizens across the state
  • Technology-based police accessories and apps will be introduced to fight crimes against women and children
  • "Dial 100" system will be strengthened and extended to districts across the state.
  • The female staff in all police stations will be provided with separate toilet facilities. The government has also alloted Rs 10 crore to strengthen basic infrastructure for women in police training schools.
  • Residents of slums living in 30X20 sites will be provided with 10,000 liters of water every month free of cost
  • Forensic Sciences and Technology Center will be established in Bengaluru at a cost of Rs 20 crore.
  • The government will provide Rs 150 crore to the BBMP for railway over bridge and under bridge construction to make sure there is uninterrupted movement of vehicles. 
  • The government will provide a grant of Rs 300 crore to develop storm water drains within the limits of the BBMP
  • Financial assistance of Rs 1,000 to 25,000 HIV infected and other affected children
  • Government medical colleges will begin DNB post graduate courses to overcome the shortage of specialized doctors in government hospitals

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