Odisha, Centre Play Blame Game Over Utilisation Of Central Funds

Bhubaneswar: A political blame-game has ensued between the Odisha government and the Centre over utilisation of centrally-sponsored funds in the State.

A review of the Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) has revealed that the Centre has released Rs 7,544 crore to Odisha under various schemes during current fiscal till November 7. However, the State government has claimed that it is yet to receive funds to the tune of Rs 6000 crore under the CSS.

Odisha BJP General Secretary Prithviraj Harichandan has alleged that the funds sanctioned to Odisha have been misused by the State government.

“Every year in the month of September, a part of the general budget is transferred to all the State governments. This year too, the Centre has released huge amount of CSS funds to the State including that sanctioned under Campa for afforestation in Odisha. But can the State government give details on where those funds were used?”

However, refuting allegations levelled by the BJP, BJD Rajya Sabha MP and national spokesperson Sasmit Patra, said, “CM Naveen reviewed about the funds pending with the Centre and learnt that around Rs 6000 crore of rupees are still lying to be released so the Centre should be responsible. Both the Special Resident Commissioner and Resident Commissioner have been directed to follow up for quick release of the dues. It is a matter of concern for the State and it needs to be released.”

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday directed officials to do a follow-up for the release of funds from the Centre for implementation of various central schemes in the state and asked them to report to him if there is “any delay”.

During his four-day visit to national capital, Patnaik held a review meeting on the release of funds for schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, MGNREGA, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana and others, where the “state government is expected to get more than Rs 6,000 crore”, said the official release issued by the Chief Minister’s Office.