Odisha CM expresses concern over lower allocation for MGNREGA, PM-KISAN in budget

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, while reacting over the Union Budget 2019-20, expressed concern over decrease in budgetary allocations for MGNREGA, PM-KISAN and several other schemes.

“While I welcome higher allocation for sectors like Health, Education, Skill Development, Drinking Water, Livelihood Mission, Women & Child Development, the decreased allocation for MGNREGA, core schemes for SC, ST and other vulnerable groups and pension under NSAP is a cause of concern,” Patnaik said here today.

“I wish the Union Government would have enhanced the quantum of assistance to farmers under PM-KISAN at par with KALIA scheme. Landless labourers and sharecroppers should also have been included in its fold,” he said.

The CM hoped that railway projects in Odisha would be fast-tracked, though he expressed displeasure over reduced allocation for NH projects.

“Increased allocation for Railways project is a welcome step. I hope the railway projects in Odisha would be fast-tracked with adequate allocation. However, reduced allocation for National Highways would adversely affect the inter-state connectivity,” the CM said.

Patnaik also praised the budget saying that it speaks of medium to long-term vision of the Government which is good for the country. However, these need to be backed by commensurate budgetary allocations, he said.

The Union Budget also lays emphasis on rural connectivity through PMGSY, housing through PMAY and Swachh Bharat Mission. However, these need to be backed by allocation of funds. The imposition of cess and surcharges by the Central Government which remain outside the divisible pool further reduces the resources available to the states, he added.

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