Even as the Odisha government has been demanding a larger devolution from the central kitty, the shocker to the fore is despite the Centre having earmarked a massive Rs 374 crore for the State, Odisha is yet to submit any proposal to claim the hefty allocation made by the Centre for the current fiscal.
As per a written reply to BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the Union Government has allocated a sum of Rs.374 crore to the State of Odisha under the scheme ‘Special Assistance to States for Capital Expenditure for 2021-22’, but the State Government is yet to submit a proposal under the scheme for 2021-22.
The scheme ‘Special Assistance to States for Capital Expenditure for 2021-22’ has been announced by FM Sitharaman in her budget speech this year. The FM had then announced that a sum of over Rs 2 lakh crores will be earmarked for all the states during the current financial year of 2021-22.
High Capex A Tonic For State's Economy
Due to the increased share of revenue expenditure, including committed expenditure, the State is unable to increase its capital outlay in a big way. Sample the following.
- In 2019-20, the capital outlay spending in the State stood at Rs 20,277 crore, though in the budget for 2020-21, the outlay was increased to Rs 26,513 crore, due to pandemic impact, the revised estimates for the year slashed the allocation to Rs 19,298 crore. This shows a slash of nearly Rs 1000 cr.
- In the budget for 2021-22, the Odisha budget has allocated Rs 25,788 cr for the capital outlay.
- The higher capital outlay will lead to bringing up more bridges, roads and hospitals in the State, which are severely lacking in the State.
- As per State of State Finances, the average proportional spending on Roads and Bridges by the State in 2015-20 stood at 9 per cent. Significantly, Arunachal Pradesh spends the highest (16.7%) in the country.
- The overall allocation for Health & Family Welfare allocation had been an average of 5.3 per cent of total expenditure during the period 2015-20. Significantly, RBI data shows that the Delhi government spends 13 per cent of total expenditure on health, which is the highest in India.
- The State average spending on water and sanitation during the period 2015-20 stood at 4.3 per cent. Highest Spending by Arunachal Pradesh (6%) and Goa (5.9%).
- Similarly, the State average spending on rural development during the period 2015-20 stood at 9.6 per cent. Highest spending by Jharkhand (14.8%) and Bihar (13.4%) in the country.
In the given scenario, the non-submission of any project to claim Rs 374 cr under the Central scheme sheds a poor light on State's fiscal planning.