Odisha budget projects 8.5 per cent growth rate

Bhubaneswar: Projecting 8 to 8.5 per cent growth rate in the next fiscal, Odisha’s finance minister Pradip Kumar Amat today presented the budget for 2017-18 with an outlay of Rs 1,06,911 crore, which is about 13.7 per cent more than allocated in the last budget.

“We propose an outylay of Rs 1,06,911 crore for 2017-18 in the consolidated fund through estimated revenue receipt of Rs 88,932 crore, recovery of loans and advances of Rs 130 crore and borrowing and other receipts of Rs 17,849 crore,” Amat said

He said the total revenue receipt for 2017-18 included state’s share in central taxes of Rs 31,422 crore, state’s own tax of Rs 26,800 crore, own non-tax revenue of Rs 9,500 crore and grants from the Centre amounting to Rs 21,210 crore.

The tax/GSDP ratio would be 6.5 per cent in 2017-18.

Also Read: Annual budget outlay of Odisha pegged at Rs 1.06 Lakh cr
Amat, who also presented a separate agriculture budget with an outlay of Rs 14,930 crore for 2017-18, said demonetisation had adversly affected the state’s economy in post-November period.”However, despite this the state’s economy is expected to grow at a rate of 7.94 per cent in real terms and 10.85 per cent in nominal term during current fiscal. This is above the national level growth estimates,” he said.

The finance minister said going by the trends in the external and domestic economic environment, the state’s economy can be expected to grow in the range of 8 per cent to 8.5 per cent during 2017-18.

Keeping in pace with the Union budget, Odisha’s finance minister proposed merger of plan and non-plan expenditure.

A lion’s share of Rs 13,857.23 crore was allocated for School and Mass Education department, while around Rs 9,200 crore was provided for water resources and Rs 8,473.83 crore for Panchayati Raj department. An amount of Rs 7,371.35 crore was allocated for Rural Developmetn department.

With focus on irrigation, drinking water and social sectors, Amat announced launching of at least 11 new schemes like Rs 100 crore Agumentation of Basic Amenities and Development of Heritage and Architecture (ABADHA) for holistic development of Puri and transform it to a world class heritage city.

Other new schemes are: Rs 45 crore Sishu O Matru Mrityuhara Sampurna Nirakaran Abhijan (SAMPURNA) for containing IMR and MMR, Rs 1065 crore Buxi Jagabandhu Assured Water Supply to Habitations (BASUDHA) to provide drinking water to both rural areas (Rs 750 crore) and urban (Rs 315 crore) pockets.

Amat also announced creation of a corpus fund of Rs 300 crore to facilitate timely payment of wages to the beneficiaries under MGNREGA as Centre often delays payment.

Terming the Odisha budget, 2017-18 as “pro-poor and pro-farmer,” chief minister Naveen Patnaik said this will foster growth and development of all sectors of the economy.

“For the first time, the budget outlay has exceeded Rs 1 lakh. The focus in on creating additional irrigation potential of 2.95 lakh hectare durint 2017-18,” Patnaik said.

Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra dubbed the Odisha Budget, 2017-18 as “disappointing” and “directionless” as it lacked any provision for providing employment for the youths, reducing miseries of farmers and working class besides no measures to balance disparities between rich and poor.

Alleging that the state is heading towards a debt trap, BJP state president Basant Panda, said more than 50 per cent of the funds comes from the Cetre. He dubbed the budget as “disappointing”.

The CPI(M) said the Odisha budget is indifferent towards major problems confronting the state like distrsess sale of paddy, unemployment, teachers problem and others.