Bengaluru,(Samajweekly) The unprecedented and extended lockdown to contain the coronavirus spread has virtually stalled Karnataka’s growth story, as development plans envisaged in the state budget for fiscal 2020-21 remain a non-starter, said experts.
“As the virus disrupted normal life, paralysed every sector and crippled the economy as never before, development and growth will depend upon when Karnataka will get over the pandemic, as the entire state machinery is busy in grappling with the infection,” noted economist M.R. Narayan told IANS here.
Within 10 days after Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa presented the state budget for this fiscal on March 5, he announced a partial lockdown in this tech city from March 16 and extended it to March 31 even before Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared a nationwide lockdown from March 25 and extended it up to May 31 with gradual relaxations of its restrictions to restore normal life.
“With every activity coming to a standstill, including movement of people in cities and towns across the state due to the extended lockdown, there was neither spending nor consumption. Unfortunately, like the rest of the country and other states, Karnataka too ended fiscal 2019-20 and began the new fiscal (2020-19) on a grim note, with its estimates and projections going haywire,” said another economist on the condition of anonymity.
Though farming, including sowing and harvesting were allowed from April first week, absence of labour, closure of agro-processing units and drastic fall in bulk consumption of perishable goods like vegetables and fruits as hotels, places of worship, conventions and weddings were shut...