BHUBANESWAR: Odisha Assembly on Monday passed Appropriation Bill, 2014 authorising State Government to utilise `81,720.95 crore from consolidated fund for the current financial year.
Moving the Bill, Finance Minister Pradip Kumar Amat said though the fiscal situation of the State has improved considerably in the recent years, there are many challenges before the Government to manage the budget. While continuing global economic recession has impacted the State economy, slow growth of national economy and efforts to reduce fiscal deficit at Central level by controlling the plan expenditure has affected the flow of Central resources to the State, he said.
Besides, closure of mines has adversely impacted the revenue receipts from mining sector, value added tax (VAT) and transport sector, the Minister said.
Amat said Central assistance under accelerated irrigation benefit programme (AIBP) was `38 crore in 2012-13 as against an expenditure of `1088 crore by the State. The plan assistance from the Centre further reduced to `15 crore in 2013-14 as against State’s expenditure of `974 crore. The Government has made a budgetary provision of `11,500 crore this fiscal in anticipation of Central assistance of equal amount under 66 restructured Centrally sponsored schemes. Any reduction in the Central assistance will pose a challenge to the State which has to meet the fund from its own resources, he said.
The Minister said the Government’s demand for timely revision of royalty on major minerals and due compensation towards Central Sales Tax (CST) has been ignored by the Centre.
“I call upon members of the House to join hands to press for more Central assistance,” Amat said. Rejecting the Government’s claim about reduction of poverty, Leader of Opposition Narsingh Mishra sought to know the reasons behind rampant child sale and large scale migration from the State. “If the Government has been able to reduce poverty by 24.6 per cent, why do hapless couples sell their children and why people migrate to other States to make a living,” asked Mishra while initiating debate on the Odisha Appropriation Bill, 2014.
Slamming the BJD Government which has ruled the State for 14 years, Mishra wanted to know the long term measures to eradicate poverty.