2016 Budget to focus on agriculture, irrigation

Bhubaneswar: The upcoming annual state budget for 2015-16 will focus more on agriculture and irrigation sectors.

Participants at a pre-budget meeting in which the State government sought views from the experts suggested that more emphasis needs to be laid on these sectors apart from ways to increase revenue. According to sources, experts suggested mining and other taxes as areas from where more revenue can be generated.

“We have received some very good recommendations from the experts comprising former Finance ministers, Chief Secretary and media representatives. Within the resources at our disposal, we will try to consider their views. Moreover, we have received 1,666 responses from the public, which have been sent to the concerned departments for examination,” said Finance minister Pradip Amat

“One of my proposals was to auction raw materials at a pre-determined price in a bid to tackle the lack of desired raw-material off-take after renewal of leases of various mines. It will allow industrial houses to purchase raw material at desired prices, which will boost sales tax collection and royalty income. Moreover, professional tax is not being collected from many stakeholders and I have urged the State government to increase the coverage of this tax,” former Finance minister Prafulla Ghadei said.