Odisha CM terms State Budget as ‘pro-poor’; Opp begs to differ

Bhubaneswar: Terming the State Budget presented by Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari in the State Assembly today as a ‘progressive, pro-poor and development oriented Budget’, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the priority has been given on healthcare development, education and above all life and livelihoods.

In his reaction, Patnaik said, “Priority of the Budget is to create quality healthcare facilities, quality education including school transformation, life and livelihoods, women empowerment as well as infrastructure development.”

The Budget size has increased to Rs 2 lakh crore and the Programme Budget to Rs 1 lakh crore. The capital spending will increase by more than 56%, which will foster growth, he said.

“Separate Budget for Mission Shakti with allocation of Rs 2,000 crore will further deepen our engagement with 70 lakh women of our State,” the Chief Minister said.

“Our initiative to create a “Budget Stabilization Fund” will help in mitigating any revenue shock in future. The budget is in line with our transformational agenda under ‘5T’ and ‘Mo Sarkar’,” he said.

The Chief Minister hopes this Budget will meet the aspiration of the people of the State.

Expressing similar views, BJD MLA Rajkishore Das said, “This budget is No 1 CM’s top-class budget. The more praise is heaped on this budget will be less. All the sectors have been given priority. This budget will be beneficial for the State.”

Opposition chief whip Mohan Majhi termed the budget as a disappointing one. This budget is politically motivated and does not contain anything new for poor and worker sections. It’s akin to putting colours on old wall of a school. There is no provision in this budget to generate capital. Hence, the State’s own revenue has declined. The State’s budget is completely dependent on the Central government, Majhi added.

Congress legislator Mohammed Moquim said this budget is a disappointing one. The economically weaker section has nothing to celebrate. Also, there has been no budgetary provision for the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana.

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