BHUBANESWAR: The state government today maintained that tax collection in Odisha dropped by over 11 percent in December, 2016 after demonetisation.
"In the aftermath of withdrawal of bank notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 denominations, economic activity has been interrupted in the segments which are cash intensive," Governor SC Jamir said in the his address to the assembly on the opening day of the budget session.
The Governor said though the impact of demonetisation on the economy is yet to be assessed fully, it has brought about a steep deceleration of State's economy and public finances in the initial period. "It is evidenced by a decline of over 11 per cent in the tax collection in December, 2016 over the previous month," he said.
Stating that Odisha has achieved significant improvement in finance through various fiscal reforms during the last 15 years, Jamir said the effort in achieving debt sustainability from a position of debt stress was significant. The Debt Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) ratio had been brought down to 15.7 per cent in 2015-16 from 50.7 per cent in 2002-03, he said.
The Governor said replacement of Kisan Credit Cards by Rupay Debit Cards was under implementation and 11.46 lakh Rupay Cards would be provided to farmers by mid of 2017. Construction of 737 threshing floors had been completed thereby ensuring threshing facilities to farmers and reducing post harvest loss. Describing irrigation as a major area of focus, Jamir said the state had set a target of 10 lakh hectares of additional irrigation potential by 2019. It had been programmed to create additional irrigation potential of 2.954 lakh hectares during 2017-18.
The Governor said the Odisha Fisheries Policy, 2015 is being implemented to double fish production in the state in five years. Sea food export touched Rs 1791.81 crore during 2015-16 and the state government had set a target of Rs 20,000 crore worth export in coming years, he said.
He said milk production and procurement per day are expected to reach 6.6 lakh litres and chilling and processing capacity is likely to be enhanced to 9.4 lakh and 7.0 lakh litres per day respectively during 2017-18.
Referring to the Mahanadi river water dispute with Chhattisgarh, the Governor said he was proud that the state government has stood firmly with the people of Odisha to ensure their due share of water. He said the state government has moved the Centre to constitute a tribunal to resolve the dispute and also approached the Supreme Court to prevent unauthorised construction activities by the Chhattisgarh government on upstream of the river and to safeguard the interest of the people of Odisha.
Stating that the overall law and order situation in the State during 2016 remained peaceful, Jamir said the overall intensity of Left Wing Extremism (LWE) activities also came down in the state. However, the situation remained challenging in parts of Malkangiri, Koraput and Kalahandi districts. However, the situation there was gradually improving, he said.