Central assistance to Odisha increased during NDA regime: BJP

Bhubaneswar: Rejecting the BJD’s allegation that Odisha received less central assistance from the Narendra Modi government, opposition BJP Wednesday claimed that funding from the Centre actually increased manifold during the NDA regime.

The central grant to Odisha in the last fiscal of the UPA government in 2013-14 was only Rs 10,965 crore, while it is Rs 30,559 crore in 2019-20, Leader of Opposition Pradipta Kumar Naik said in the Assembly.

“The allegation of less central assistance to Odisha made by the finance minister is not based on the facts,” the BJP member said adding that the central assistance has increased during the NDA tenure is evident from the annual budget statement of the state government.

The state’s share in the central tax has also increased now, Naik said while initiating a debate on The Odisha Appropriation Bill, 2019.

The state’s share in the central tax in 2013-14 was Rs 15,903 crore, it increased to Rs 39,207 crore in 2019-20, Naik said.

Claiming that Odisha’s budget, 2019-20 is totally dependent on the central assistance, he said, “Of the state’s budget estimate of Rs 1,39,000 crore, the amount of central assistance and tax in total is Rs 69,766 crore, which is almost 50 per cent of the budget volume.”

He also pointed out that the state’s own revenue earning is just Rs 45,500 crore which is Rs 24,266 crore less than the central assistance being availed by Odisha.

This apart, Naik said, the state’s own revenue earning is also not adequate to pay salary and pension to the employees.

The state requires an estimated Rs 57,310 crore to pay salary and pension, he said.

Naik said Odisha will get Rs 1,84,000 crore in five years as per the recommendation of the 14th Finance Commission against Rs 69,316 crore during the period of the 13th Finance Commission, an increase of 265 per cent.

On the state’s allegation that the NDA government had stopped eight schemes, Naik said, “It is natural that some schemes are stopped and some new are implemented. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has implemented 80 new schemes after the NDA came to power.”

He alleged that the Naveen Patnaik government has used the Centre’s welfare schemes for BJD’s political gain.

“Though, the Centre’s share in the cheap rice scheme is Rs 29 per kilogram, Naveen Babu never gives credit to the Prime Minister. Instead, the CM misleads the people by saying that the BJD government gives rice to the people at the rate of Rs 1 a kg.”