BHUBANESWAR: The State Budget for 2017-18 is likely to cross Rs one lakh crore with the Odisha Government trying to allocate more funds for completion of the ongoing projects and increase in social sector spending.
The size of the Budget for 2015-16 was Rs 84,000 crore while the Budget for 2016-17 was Rs 94,000 crore. In view of the State Government’s decision to complete the ongoing projects within the stipulated time to avoid cost overrun, the ongoing projects will get more funds for their completion. The State Budget will be placed in the Assembly on February 27.
Sources maintained that requirement of ongoing schemes and projects in the social and infrastructure sectors is being finalised. Social and physical infrastructure like education, health, roads and irrigation will get more allocation.
Finance Minister Pradip Amat has already held consultation with former finance ministers, economists, investors and industrialists.
The Government has also received suggestions and inputs from advocacy groups, civil society groups, common citizens and other stakeholders through WhatsApp, Telegrams and Internet in the structured format displayed on the web platform of the Department of Finance.
However, the Central Budget presented on February 1 has belied the hopes of the State Government which were expecting more assistance in social and other sectors. Generation of tax and non-tax revenue has also been affected because of demonetisation and its adverse effect on the economy.
As the Government announced that it will implement the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations, there will be an additional burden of Rs 5,000 crore on the exchequer. Besides, implementation of the scheme to convert kutcha houses to pucca will require another Rs 4,000 crore.
Sources said revised pay structure will benefit about four lakh employees and nearly three lakh pensioners. The State Government will have to depend on market borrowing to allocate funds in the Budget to take care of increasing requirements in all the sectors.