Odisha govt hikes BKBKY fund allocation

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has decided to effect a hike in the allocation of funds under Biju KBK Yojana (BKBKY)from Rs 120 crore to Rs 250 crore from this year.

A directive to this effect was given by chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday.

As per the decision, the state government would meet the additional shortfall of Rs 130 crore from the state exchequer.

The decision of the state government would be implemented in eight districts coming under KBK (Kalahandi-Balangir-Koraput) from this year.

It is worthwhile here to mention that the then Centre had slashed the annual fund allocation under Revised Long Term Action Plan (RLTAP) scheme for the development of the tribal dominated KBK region in 2006 from Rs 250 crore to Rs 130 crore. Since it was not possible to implement the development scheme with such paltry allocation, the state government, in the same year had decided to run the scheme as BKBKY by sanctioning Rs 120 crore from its own resources.

But as the present BJP led NDA government at the Centre has completely stopped the RLTAP funding from 2015-16 fiscal, the state government, as an alternative measure, has decided to continue the scheme by making arrangements of funds to the tune of Rs 130 crore from its own exchequer.

The chief minister has directed the concerned departments to utilise the additional fund sanctioned by the state government in the development of inter-district roads, development in rural connectivity, spread of education among the students belonging to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities, and extension of irrigation facilities by setting up of lift irrigation points and digging up deep bore wells.

The chief minister has also asked these departments to prepare their respective work plan for immediate implementation.