Odisha News Insight

Union Budget deprives Odisha of legitimate share: Naveen Patnaik

Naveen PatnaikOdisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday said the union budget 2016-17 has deprived his state of its legitimate share while putting a financial burden on the state government.

Patnaik, however, welcomed the enhanced allocation for the agriculture, housing, drinking water and sanitation, urban development livelihood improvement programmes and road infrastructure sectors.

The chief minister said there is a mismatch in the growth of net tax revenue to the central government and tax devolution to the states.

“The net tax revenue to the centre has been projected to increase by about 3 percent from Rs.9.20 lakh crore in Budget estimates for 2015-16 to Rs.9.48 lakh crore in revised estimates, 2015-16, where as the tax devolution to the states has gone down by about 3.5 percent in the revised estimates,” he said, adding this indicates that the centre is depriving the states of their share through levy of cess and surcharge, which do not form a part of the sharable pool.

“When compared with the recommendations of the Fourteenth Finance Commission, it is seen that, the share of Odisha is less by about Rs.3,500 crore in 2015-16 and Rs.4,600 crore in 2016-17 from the recommended level. Depriving the states of their legitimate share is rather unfair,” said Patnaik.

“The finances of our state will be stretched on account of less than anticipated transfer of resources from the centre,” he added.

He also criticised the centre for minimal allocation to the irrigation sector.

Informing that irrigation is the lifeline for agriculture, the chief minister said it is hugely disappointing to note that there has been an insignificant increase under PMKSY, the flagship irrigation scheme of union government, from Rs.5,300 crores to Rs.5,700 crores only for the entire country.

“For a realistic comparison, our state Budget for water resources last year was more than Rs.6,500 crores,” said Patnaik.

He said the allocation for Tribal Welfare is almost stagnant which is a huge disappointment from the point of view of Odisha.

“The state government has taken the right decision to place its budget after presentation of union budget, otherwise it would have been an impractical guess work,” said Patnaik. (IANS)

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