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Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: The BJP on Saturday came down heavily on the Odisha government for failing to utilise central funds and resorting to fresh borrowings from market on interest.

Addressing a press meet on the findings of CAG report, BJP's Lekhashree Samantsinghar said the State government has failed to utilise the funds sanctioned by the Centre.

“The State government has taken Rs 12,130 crore loan from market, but failed to utilise funds worth Rs 21,206 crore sanctioned by the Centre. The government made false claims that it spent worth 1 lakh crore in the budget for the people of Odisha,” Lekhashree alleged.

Referring to the CAG report, she said that funds meant for various schemes returned back to the Centre which shows the incompetency of the State government.

“The State government could not utilise Rs 922 crore funds meant for Women and Child Development schemes. Nalinikanta Pradhan was the Works department secretary at that time and government used him for collecting commissions (PC) only and later fielded him as MP candidate,” she alleged.

“The CAG report pointed out the failure of Odisha government in achieving the target under Potato Mission. Only 23 (41.81 per cent) cold storages of the targeted 55 cold were established as of March 2018,” she said referring the CAG report.

"Odisha government lacks a healthy mentality how to spend funds which is why people are suffering in various parameters," said Congress leader Tara Prasad Bahinipati.

However, government chief whip Pramila Mallick said the Centre has not provided the amount of funds that they should have given.

"Even CM Naveen Patnaik has also urged the Centre to release the pending amount of Rs 7000 crore. If they release the funds in first week of March and ask for utilization certificate in the last week of the month, I don’t think any government can comply to that," she said.

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