Rly budget cut, farmers’ issues dominate Assembly

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Assembly witnessed uproarious scenes for the second consecutive day on Wednesday when members of both Opposition and ruling party exchanged war of words raising farmers’ issues and slash in railway budgetary allocations for the state, respectively.
During zero hour, BJD deputy chief whip Sanjay Das Burma taking up the railway budget cut issue said the state was being neglected by the Railway Ministry for last three decades despite noticeable revenue generation from the East zone.

“In the last fiscal, the ECoR has generated revenues to the tune of Rs 8,500 crore. But it only sanctioned Rs 723 crore in 2012-13 budget for the infrastructure development in the state against our demand of Rs 2,345 crore,” Das Burma said.

“Surprisingly, the Ministry, instead of increasing the allocation, deducted nearly Rs 280 crore from the already allocated amount in three phases in last six months,” rued the BJD leader.

Ignited by the deputy chief whip’s scathing attack, members of the Opposition stood up and raised anti-government slogans holding banners to raise the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy by Rs 300 per quintal and crop insurance to farmers.

The sloganeering members also vent their ire against the supply of sub-standard groundnut seeds to the farmers.

Amid ruckus, which witnessed Congress legislators storming into the well to press their demands, Das Burma demanded censure motion against the Centre for the reduction in railway budget.