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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: For the first time, the Odisha government has decided to give priority to public opinion in the preparation of the annual State Budget this year.

As part of its efforts, the state government has sought public opinion through its official website www.odisha.gov.in and SMS for their suggestions for the State Budget for 2016-17 fiscal. Suggestions were invited via e-mail to odisha.budget@gov.in and SMS to mobile number 9438161111.

The state government has already received more than 1400 suggestions through e-mail and nearly 276 suggestions through SMS.

Expressing satisfaction, chief minister Naveen Patnaik has asked the Finance department to review all suggestions submit a report to him.

“I am confident that more and more people would give suggestions through e-mail and SMS which will be scrutinised by the Finance department. We will give opportunity to all people and institutions particularly the non-government organisations (NGOs) to give their suggestions. After a thorough scrutiny of these suggestions, the annual budget will be prepared accordingly, Finance minister Pradip Kumar Amat told the media on Sunday.

The allocation for the annual State Budget, which was Rs 84,487.77 crore in 2015-16 fiscal, is most likely to exceed one lakh crore mark in the next budget.

Considering the severe drought in the state this year, it is expected that the state government would give much emphasis on agriculture sector. Apart from this, the government is most likely to give more thrust on irrigation in view of the alarming rise in farmer suicide cases in the state this year.

“Preparation of annual budget depends on the state government. Going by the manner in which the government has increased the budget allocation every year, it will cross one lakh crore mark this year. Moreover, keeping the ensuing panchayat and municipal elections in the state, the government would certainly give more priority on these two sectors in the annual budget,” former Finance minister Panchanan Kanungo told OTV.

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