Odisha FM presents vote-on-account, Naveen terms it development oriented

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Finance Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera today presented the vote-on account budget for 2019-20 in state Assembly with a proposed expenditure of Rs 1, 32, 660 crore.

The vote-on-account for the first four months of this fiscal has been pegged at Rs 56, 921 crore.

Behera presented the vote-on-account amid Opposition walkout. While the BJP and Congress termed the vote-on-account as propagandist, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) described it as development oriented.

“It is a pro-women, pro-sc st, development oriented budget. Actually, it’s a vote on account for four months. I am happy that adequate provision is made for KALIA and KALIA scholarships, our universal health scheme Biju Shruti Kalyan Yojana, our women-related initiatives like Mamata and Mission Shakti, scholarships for SC/ST students, our popular rural development programme ‘Ama Gaon Ama Bikash”, our social security programmes like Madhu Babu Pension Yojana, housing, drinking water and electricity for all, special focus on branding of the Make in Odisha commitments for employment and revenue generation. The Budget will help us to continue with our good work. We believe in actual work, not just promises. Our work does the talking,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said in his reaction.

With about a month to go for the Assembly polls, the ruling party announced no new schemes. The government made highest allocation under KALIA (Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation) scheme amounting to Rs 4461 crore. Besides, Rs 2935 crore was allocated under BASUDHA and Rs 1777 crore for Parbati Giri Mega lift irrigation project. This apart, Rs 1300 crore each was allocated for State road and Irrigation infrastructure development. The next highest allocation was made for Re 1/kg rice amounting to Rs 1028 crore.

Allocations under other schemes: PEETHA (Rs 400 crore), Mission Shakti (Rs 301 crore), Mamata (Rs 305 crore), Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (Rs 864 crore), state share in Railway projects (Rs 410 crore), Biju Setu Yojana (Rs 500 crore), Mukhyamantri Sadak Yojana (Rs 350 crore), Gopabandhu Gramin Yojana (Rs 500 crore and Biju Yuva Bahini (Rs 105 crore).

“The budget should be based on facts. As it was not so, we staged a walkout. It was propaganda of schemes keeping the upcoming election in view,” said Congress legislature party leader Narasingha Mishra.

The saffron party too criticized the government on the same lines.

Behera, in his speech, stated that the state has attained growth rate of 8 percent as against the national average of 7.1 percent. We hope to achieve a growth rate of 8.5 in the next fiscal, he added.

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