Odisha budget likely to be tabled on Mar 15

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Finance minister Pradeep Kumar Amat is likely to present budget for the financial year 2016-17 in State Assembly on March 15.

Informing this to the media after an all-party meet here, Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra said the Finance minister will present Appropriation Bill for two months while the draft of the full budget of the remaining 10 months will be sent to Assembly Standing Committee, which would give its suggestion by April 25.

“If needed, necessary changes as per suggestions of the Committee will be made in the budget before it is presented,” Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra said.

The Bill will be passed before March 31, Mishra stated adding that this time the State budget will presented on the lines of Centre.

“Since the Centre has authorised the States to prioritise their requirements in State budgets, the meeting decided that the State budget will be presented on the lines of the Centre. Certainly it will help the State to focus on the fields it wants to spend more on compaed to other sectors,” he said.

Meanwhile, on the deviation from previous years’ budget presentations, Amat said the proposed format will help the State government to allocate funds on different heads strategically.

“The idea behind such an initiative is, from Centre’s budget we will get to know on the figures of expenditure on different heads. Besides, during the existence of Planning Commission we were able to pre-empt the Centre’s grant on particular sectors. But after Niti Ayog came into existence, there is less scope of such speculation. So, we will wait for the Centre to present the budget and after analysing it, we will draft State budget,” Amat said.

“Besides, grants for eight projects have been stopped by the Centre and the sharing pattern for 33 schemes has been changed drastically,” added he.

Welcoming the step, BJP state unit president Basant Panda said the budget pattern will be helpful for the State.

“It is a very good initiative. The States, which want to focus on particular sectors in the budget, given their economy and geographical presence, will get the benefit,” Panda said.