Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: The cumulative debt stock of the Odisha government increased to Rs 97,823 crore till the end of September 2020 which is 16.4% of the gross state domestic product (GSDP), Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari said on Friday.

While presenting a Supplementary Budget of Rs 11,200 crore for the financial year 2020-21 on the first day of the winter session of the State Assembly, Pujari said the total revenue receipt has declined by about 6.5% mainly due to shortfall in central transfer during the first half of the current financial year.  He added that the State’s own revenue has shown a moderate growth of 1.7% in spite of the impact of the pandemic during the period. 

"Till the end of September 2020, we have a revenue surplus of Rs 6,790 crore and the cumulative debt stock is Rs 97,823 crore, which is 16.4% of GSDP," the Finance Minister said.

"We are emphasising on realisation of arrear revenue and mopping up of resources to ensure higher revenue generation and lower dependence on borrowing," he added.

The additional provision of Rs 11,200 crore comprises of Rs 2,273 crore towards administrative expenditures, Rs 1,484 crore towards disaster management funds, Rs 5 crore towards transfer to local bodies and Rs 7,438 towards programme expenditure.

The allocations under administrative expenditure and Transfer to local bodies are to be financed against adjustment and surrender. Similarly, the allocation under Disaster Management Funds will be financed against the year-end balance and anticipated receipts from the NDRF.

The Programme Expenditure of Rs 7,438 crore will be partially funded by tied-up resources to the Rs 2,755 crore and the balance requirement of Rs 4,683 crore are to be met out of savings and surrender during the year.

In view of Covid-19 pandemic, the State government has given priorities to life and livelihood. A sum of 1768.77 crore has been allocated for Health and Family Welfare Department, 2046.11 crore for Panchayati Raj Department, Rs 2, 363.04 crore for Finance Department and 1078.30 crore allocation was made for food security.

Odisha government has said the primary focus of this year's Supplementary budget 2020-21 is Covid response-related health, food and social security, livelihood and employment generation.

"The Annual Budget of Rs 1,50,000 crore for financial year 2020-21 was prepared at a time when the Covid was not in picture and GSDP growth assumed to continue at a rate surpassing the National GDP growth. However, the pandemic has now completely changed the scenario," a government statement said.

The Covid related lockdown has severely affected the resource realisation. The spending priority has changed, new priorities have come. The Supplementary Statement of Expenditure primary aims at addressing the new priorities through adjustment in the Annual Budget 2020-21, the statement added.

After the presentation of the supplementary budget, the House proceedings were adjourned till tomorrow amid the ruckus of the Opposition party leaders.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)