Odisha requires subtle approach for development: CM Naveen

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday said the development of the state requires a subtle and nuanced approach given the unique geographical situation and diverse socio-economic profile.

“The developmental needs of our state, in view of its unique geographical situation and diverse socio-economic profile, throw a unique challenge. It requires a subtle and nuanced approach,” said the chief minister.

Patnaik was speaking after inaugurating the Centre of Excellence in Fiscal Policy and Taxation at Xavier University here.

I hope the Centre of Excellence would position itself as the first point of reference to provide research input for policy making in tune with the sound principles of taxation and prudent fiscal management,” Patnaik said at a national seminar on ‘Fiscal Policy and Taxation’ held on the very first day of the centre’s inception.

The centre set up in collaboration with the state government and Xavier University aimed to institutionalise the process of implementing the Odisha Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act, 2005. The state government budgeted Rs 12 crore for the centre in its Budget for 2015-16.

The significance of the centre is felt after Inter Governmental Fiscal Transfer System has undergone transformati on with the setting up of NITI Aayog, recommendation for increased devolution by 14th Finance Commission and change in the dispensation for central plan assistance to the state, Patnaik said.

The growth momentum in the national and state economy is required to be revived and make the growth more inclusive, Patnaik said adding “this is the background scenario in which we have set up the centre which marks a convergence between academic research and public policy making.”

He said in this scenario, it was imperative to meet the rising expectations of the people advising the policy makers to work for long term fiscal sustainability ensuring economy, efficiency and effectiveness in public financial management to meet these imperative needs.

“The growth momentum in the national and the state economy is required to be revived and make the growth more inclusive,” he said.

Patnaik said on the fiscal management front, the state has taken great strides.

“We have been achieving fiscal targets set in the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2005. The Tax GSDP ratio of our state has increased from about 4 percent in 1999-2000 to about 6.4 percent in 2014-15.

“Debt to GSDP ratio is one of the lowest in the country at present. It is indicative of our capacity to go for greater capital investment to enable higher growth,” said Patnaik.

Notably, the objectives of the centre are providing quantitative and qualitative fiscal reports and to advise decision makers, offering short term and long-term budget outlook, providing specialised training for tax officials and officers from the finance department, publishing research work and journals and providing forum for interaction between the officials of finance department and academicians.

The board members of the centre consisted of the additional chief secretary (finance), vice chancellor of Xavier University, commissioner of commercial taxes, secretaries of departments of industries, energy and cooperation, chair professor and two reputed academic experts in the domain of public finance.

To begin with, there will be 60 seats. Classes will start from this academic year, said Vice-chancellor of the varsity Paul Fernandes.

The two-year fulltime postgraduate programme, said to be the first of its kind in the country, will focus on four areas – human development, sustainability leadership and entrepreneurship, climate change and natural resource management, and sustainable energy.