BHUBANESWAR: Describing the 2012-13 Budget presented by Pranab Mukherjee as welfare-oriented, the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) said it will check inflation. The State unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), however, termed the budget as disappointing as it would fail to control inflation as declared by the Finance Minister.
Agriculture, irrigation and welfare of farmers have been given special attention in the budget, OPCC general secretary Arjya Kumar Gyanendra said, adding that 18 per cent more allocation has been made for the welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
A special fund has been created for development of women through self-help groups (SHGs). Creation of credit guarantee fund for technical students taking loans is a novel scheme, Gyanendra said. Welcoming 20 per cent increase for midday meal schemes for students, the OPCC said announcement for creating the urban health mission will go a long way in providing health care to all sections of people.
Special assistance for KBK (undivided Kalahandi, Balangir and Koraput districts) region and `50 crore announced for Odisha University of Agriculture Technology (OUAT) will also benefit the State, Gyanendra said.
The proposal to hand over subsidy on kerosene and gas to consumers directly and the decision to open 12,000 schools in 12th Plan period are steps which will benefit a large number of people, he said.
The State unit of the BJP, however, maintained that the Budget proposals will stoke inflation further. Senior BJP leader Biswabhusan Harichandan said it will not be possible to control inflation in three months as announced by the Union Finance Minister.
Stating that prices will further go up after the Budget, Harichandan said the Budget does not have anything for the poor of the State.
The CPM has also alleged that the Budget will lead to price rise and fuel inflation. Describing it as anti-people, State committee member of CPM Dushmanta Das has called upon the people to protest.