BHUBANESWAR: With the health of the State economy not in a good shape, the Odisha Government expects enhanced funding in the 2015-16 Central budget for implementation of important schemes for which financial assistance has gone down.
Implementation of several schemes including Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP), Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) has been affected as Central funding has dried up.
“In the absence of adequate funding from the Centre, the State Government is implementing schemes by utilising own resources as a result of which the State finances have come under stress,” Finance Minister Pradip Amat said.
“We expect adequate funding from the Centre for implementation of the schemes and clearing the backlog,” Amat said and added that at a time when the State Government is going through a financial crisis, the Centre has slashed assistance under different schemes.
The Finance Minister said the State Government had sought assistance of `11,000 crore from the Centre for implementation of different schemes, but the allocation has come down to `7,300 crore. Besides, the State Government had estimated in its 2014-15 budget that share from Central taxes will be around `18,289 crore. Sources said this is likely to come down to `15,000 crore.
Besides, the Centre should immediately release `3,417 crore on account of loss towards Central Sale Tax reduction. Though the State Government had demanded `4,720 crore as compensation towards CST reduction from 2007-08 to 2013-2014, it has received only `1,303 crore till now.
Amat said the Centre should announce a package for the development of backward regions of Odisha which have a high Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe population. Though Odisha has demanded a package for the development of its backward regions, it has been ignored by both the UPA and NDA Governments, he said.
Besides, the State Government hopes that Centre would announce release of funds for cyclone Phailin which had hit the State in 2013. Though Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had announced interim assistance of `1,000 crore, so far `300 crore has been released.