BJD to protest Centre’s decision to slash tax devolution

Bhubaneswar: After showering praise for Rail Budget; the ruling BJD today said it will protest the cut in tax devolution to States in the Parliament. Citing that Odisha stands to lose around Rs 4600 crore due the announced provisions of the budget, the BJD has trained its guns at the Central government and said that it will raise the issue in the parliament and also discuss it in the State Assembly.

“Depriving the States of their legitimate share is rather unfair. The finances of our state will be stretched on account of less than the anticipated transfer of resources from the Centre,” said Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik soon after the Union Budget was presented.

“As per the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission the State government will lose Rs 4600 crore. We will protest such a taxing move on the State and will write to the Centre about it. Moreover, we will also have an all-party discussion on the same in the Assembly,” said BJD spokesperson Dibyashankar Mishra today.

However, the BJP has refuted the claims terming them as baseless. “None of the State including Odisha will see any revenue loss due the Budget 2016 proposals. It’s a central budget and first it will allocate the funds to different schemes. Allocation to States has not started, the State government should not prematurely arrive at the conclusion that it will suffer a revenue loss. It’s a baseless claim,” said Union Tribal Affairs minister and senior BJP leader Jual Oram.

On the other hand, Congress leader and leader of opposition Narsingh Mishra said, “The duty of the Central government is to take steps to address the shortfall in States’ revenue due to recommendations of the Finance Commission. Odisha is receiving substantially less financial assistance from the Centre as compared to the UPA years.”