What to expect from Odisha Budget tomorrow

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari will present the full-fledged budget for 2019-20 in the State Assembly tomorrow. The council of ministers headed by Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik had earlier approved the draft budget allocation for around Rs 1.39 lakh crore.

All eyes are now on the upcoming budget and the focus areas of Odisha government. It is anticipated that there would be substantial budgetary allocation towards Cyclone Fani restoration particularly for the School and Mass Education, Energy and Panchayati Raj departments.

On the other hand former Finance minister, Pradeep Amat said “It seems that the State government might focus on social security, self help groups and Kalia scheme.”

The State government might increase allocation for several welfare schemes like the KALIA and Mission Shakti Programme which proved to be a game changers for the ruling BJD in the recently-concluded elections.

As the State Government has targeted to enhance the number of beneficiaries under KALIA scheme to 75 lakh, the allocation under the scheme is likely to go up.

What is worrying is the present debt burden of Rs 87,000 crore and it is estimated that it may go up to Rs 1,03,000 crore by 2020. The only breathing space for the State government is slight improvement in revenue generation, which has seen a rise of 19 percent.

What could create problems for the government is the fact that the State budget will be presented before the Union Budget. Earlier, State governments were able to plan and allocate funds depending on the share they received in the Central budget.

“The Government needs to be cautious as expenses are on the rise, while revenue growth is not substantial” said senior journalist Dillip Satpathy.