Odisha Finance Minister Pradip Kumar Amat presented the state budget for the season 2016-2017 Rs. 94,052.65 crore prioritizing agriculture, irrigation rural development and energy.
- The monetary allocation in this year’s budget has seen an increase of almost 11.32% from the previous budget. Besides the general state budget, the finance minister also presented a Rs. 13,181.89 crore Agriculture Budget which thus saw an increase of about 20.89% as compared to the previous budget. Mr. Amat further added that the outlay of the agriculture budget which includes the departments of water resources, agriculture, cooperation, fisheries and animal resources is about 14.022% of the total budget outlay.
- The water resource department has been allotted Rs. 7,241.66 crore (the highest amount) with significance on irrigation, while Rs. 3,438.91 crore has been allotted to the Department of Agriculture and Farmer Empowerment. Simultaneously the Cooperation Department and the Fisheries and Animal Resources Department are allocated with Rs. 1,821.73 crore and Rs 679.60 crore respectively. He also said that the budget has pegged a fiscal deficit of 3.79 per cent, of its gross state domestic product (GSDP) amounting Rs. 14,532.39 crore. It has been declared that the state’s budget would not include any more new tax proposals. The total budget amount included an annual Plan outlay of Rs. 50,000 crore.
- Also, the total revenue expenditure has been estimated to be Rs. 7,443.38 crore. Odisha has pegged its gross borrowing at Rs. 15,014 crore which includes the net market borrowing of Rs 7,324 crore. School and Mass Education Department would get Rs 13,396.35 crore. The state also has planned to launch a new scheme called ‘Odisha Adarsha Vidyalaya’ for establishing model schools. Mr. Amat proposed a new scheme called ‘Biju Kanya Ratna’ to highlight the contribution of former CM Biju Patnaik. The scheme with a corpus budget of Rs. 2 Crore is proposed to launch in the districts of Dhenkanal, Angul and Ganjam where female sex ratio is quite low.
- Construction of steel Bailey bridges has been proposed to start in the remote and tribal-dominated areas with Rs. 70 crore under Biju Setu Yojana. The finance minister also has proposed a total of Rs. 333.33 crore under Smart City Mission to develop Bhubaneswar as a smart city whereas a sum of Rs. 140.15 crore has been allotted for Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) for providing improved basic service in 9 selected urban local bodies. Mr. Amat has announced revival of ‘Bhagabat Tungi’ (village huts where people assemble to discuss religious issues) with a budget of Rs 3 crore.
- However, CM Naveen Patnaik has hailed the budget as “people’s budget” and has said that the budget has addressed the government’s focus on rural housing, rural connectivity, rural electrification, rural livelihood and food security.
(Source: Business Standard)