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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: When Odisha police have been the lab for experimenting Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's pet 5T governance model, the massive Rs 8,261 crore supplement budget did little justice to the police department.

Consider this. The police budget in the year 2019-10 budget has been pegged at around Rs 3,571 crore, which is a measly 2.5 per cent of the total State budgets worth Rs 1, 39,000 crore.

Post the supplementary budget allocation, the police budget in Odisha stood  at Rs 3,847 crore, which is around 2.6 per cent of the total State budget (Annual + supplementary).

However, as per recent BPRD (Bureau of Police Research & Development) report, the expenditure on police budget by neighbouring states like Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Jharkhand have been 4.24, 4.01 and 5.09 per cent, respectively, in year 2017-18.

Significant here is when small states like Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh spend proportionately more than Odisha, how could then State police stay competitive.

Despite making police department the mainstay of 5T model, the allocation has not been in tandem with the requirements to realise the 5T objectives.

Another 5T core department has been the Health department. While the annual budget has allocated Rs 6,780 crore, the supplementary budget has provisioned additional Rs 491 crore. The total allocation for the sector now stood at Rs 7,271 crore.

This supplementary allocation did some justice to the pivotal department, as the annual budget has proposed a meagre hike for health in the annual budget vis-a-vis 2018-19.

Sample this. The allocation for health in 2019-20 has been Rs 6,780 cr in comparison to Rs 6,132 cr in 2018-19. The allocation in 2017-18 was Rs 4,927 cr in 2017-18.

An analysis shows Works department has grabbed the lion's share in the supplementary budget. A whopping Rs 1,752 crore or 21 per cent of the total supplementary budget has been allocated to the department.

The fat allocation in budget for the department has been attributed to implementation of the ABHADA scheme and Puri heritage plan.

Apart from Works department, the three other major gainers were School & Mass Education (S &ME), Panchayati Raj & Drinking Water (PR&DW) and Housing & Urban development (H&UD). While the allocation for S&ME has been Rs 921 crore, PR&DW got Rs 907 crore and H&UD provisioned Rs 859 crore.

The allocation shows the supplementary budget's priority has been on drinking water, housing for poor, basic education and urban development.  Significantly, urban polls are also round the corner.

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