Bhubaneswar: The budget has some good aspects which needs to be appreciated and there are some concerns which needs to be looked into and addressed, said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in his reaction on the Union Budget 2023-24.
Good steps are increased capital investment, support to drinking water initiatives and increasing rural housing. These will accelerate growth as well as have social impact in rural areas, he said.
“I also welcome the Prime Minister’s thrust on millets. Odisha Millet Mission is a pioneering initiative in the country and I am happy that millets have been given importance in the Budget,” he added.
The focus on new world technologies like artificial intelligence, Internet of Things etc. is appreciable. These are some of the good aspects of the Budget. The focus on primitive tribal groups is a welcome step, he claimed.
“I have concerns regarding the drastic reduction of funds for MGNREGS. This will hit the poor people. The reduction in food security budget along with reduction in procurement will hit the poor people as well as farmers. About 80 thousand crore was spent on procurement in 2021-22 while only about 60 thousand crores is kept in this budget. This will cause serious problems in selling crops at Minimum Support Price,” Patnaik elaborated.
While in 2021-22 an amount of Rs 2 lakh crore was spent under National Food Security, in this budget only 1.37 lakh crore is kept for this purpose.
There has been a decrease or no growth in health and education sectors.
The budget provision for Ayushman Bharat ‘PMJAY’ is Rs 7, 200 crore for the entire country and Odisha spends almost about Rs 2, 400 crore on BSKY in private facilities alone. If we include government facilities it would be around Rs 6,000 crore annually under Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana. Health is an important priority for our state, Patnaik said.
“Now, I expect that the BJP leaders in Odisha will stop hoodwinking the people in the name of Ayushman Bharat,” said the Chief Minister.