Pradeep Pattanayak

A political slugfest has started over the budget the Odisha government presented on Friday with the State unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accusing the BJD-led government of copying the Centre’s yojanas. 

Launching a scathing attack on the BJD-led dispensation, BJP’s State general secretary Golak Mohapatra on Saturday wryly said, “The State government’s budget is like a big school bag containing fewer study materials.” 

“The State government has shown golden dreams to the people through the budget presented yesterday. But after analysing the budget, it was known that it seems like a big school bag with fewer learning materials,” said Mohapatra. 

“Towards salaries and pensions, the State government is spending Rs 94,000 crore. On the other hand, the government’s own earning is Rs1,05,000 crore. It means, after releasing salaries and pensions, the balance with the government will be nil.  Then it is a matter of great surprise that how will the government fulfill the rest of the budget announcements,” he added. 

“Then, the State government’s only source will be the Central government’s Rs 79,000 crore grant. With this, the government will run the State. So there is no denying that the State government’s budget fully depends on the Centre’s money,” he further added. 

Responding to the BJP’s allegations, government Chief Whip Prashant Muduli said, “The budget is definitely a historical budget. If analysed, you will find all the sectors have been given priority. Those (the BJP leaders) who are saying about the Centre’s grant shouldn’t forget that the State government is receiving its share from the Central government. What the State government is receiving is also less than its true share.”

(Reported by Harihar Chand, OTV)