Maharathi refutes Union minister’s remark over Central fund utilization

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Agriculture minister Pradeep Maharathi today refuted allegations made by Union Agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh over Odisha’s inability to utilize Central funds.

“In 2015-16 the Odisha government received Rs 54.45 crore for coconut cultivation. Out of which Rs 45.08 crore has been utilized and Utilization Certificate (UC) for Rs 30 crore has been submitted. As the funds were received towards the latter part of the financial year, all of it could not be utilized,” Maharathi told media persons here.

Maharathi also targeted the central government on how it is deliberately targeting the state government. The Central government is scared of the popularity of chief minister Naveen Patnaik which is why Union ministers are frequenting Odisha, said Maharathi stating further that government programs are being used as a platform to launch political attacks.

Maharathi also questioned how BJP’s State President Basant Panda was felicitated during a government programme.

Notably, Union Minister Radha Mohan Singh had said yesterday, “We provide money to States for agricultural development. Last year Rs 5 crore of the allocation to Odisha remained unspent which is why we have asked the State to spend the money given this year at the earliest.”