Ram Madhav refutes neglecting Odisha in Union budget

Bhubaneswar: Dismissing allegation of neglecting Odisha in the Union Budget, 2020-21, senior BJP leader Ram Madhav on Wednesday said states get allocations based on their performance.

The Centre is prepared to give more assistance to states, but they should perform better in order to avail the opportunity, Ram Madhav, the national general secretary of BJP, told reporters here.

He claimed that the central allocation for Odisha has rather increased.

“I do not want to say, but the fact remains that Odisha’s performance is not very satisfactory. There are instances where Odisha spent only 4 or 6 per cent of the sanctioned allocations in certain projects,” the BJP leader said.

“Odisha government should perform better and utilize funds allocated to it for the welfare of the people instead of making allegations. The Centre wants to give more allocations to Odisha and we have also not given less this time, ” he added.

The BJP leader highlighted that while the Central allocation to Odisha in the previous fiscal was Rs 30,559 crore, in 2020-21 Budget it has increased to Rs 2,000 crore, which is about Rs 1500 crore more.

“The state government is not utilizing allocations fully and even diverting funds,” he alleged, suggesting that the state government must utilize funds properly, make fresh proposals for new projects in order to get more allotment.

Stating that the Union Budget aimed at giving support to the states based on their performance, Ram Madhav said heavy allocations are made the areas like fisheries, water resources and solar energy.

The states should take advantages from this, he said.

In a state like Odisha, where water scarcity is an issue, if state government introduces good projects, then the centre is prepared to give full assistance, he said
Describing the Union Budget as “growth oriented”, the BJP leader said priority has been given to critical sectors such as agriculture, water resources and infrastructure and uplift of youth, women and socially and economically backward classes.

“The focus on these areas will help the nation beat the prevailing global slowdown,” he said.

When reporters drew his attention to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s allegation that Odisha will get Rs 3,000 cr less from the central pool, Ram Madhav said: The states share comes from tax collected from the state. “If the tax collection is slow, it is obvious that your share will be less. But, the Centre has increased its
assistance to the state this time, he said.

While expressing concern, the Chief Minister in his reaction on the union budget on February 1 had said, “The divisible pool of central tax has shrunk by almost Rs 59,000 crore. This will reduce Odisha’s share by about Rs 3,000 crore.”

Patnaik has also been unhappy as almost all grants under the centrally sponsored schemes remained stagnant.


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