BHUBANESWAR: Economic slowdown and a strong possibility of reduction in State’s share from the divisible pool of Central taxes notwithstanding, Odisha Government’s 2020-21 budget is likely to cross the Rs 1.5 lakh crore mark.
The budget was approved at the meetings of the Council of Ministers and later Cabinet presided by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari will place the budget in the Assembly on March 18.
Like last year, sources said, the focus of this year’s budget will be on farm sector too. Though no new scheme is going to be announced for the farmers, emphasis will be on adequate provision for implementation of all the ongoing ones. Even though the State Government has decided to merge KALIA scheme with the ‘PM-Kisan Yojana’, a substantial amount will be earmarked for implementation of the scheme with new guidelines.
Besides, substantial provisions have also been made for implementation of beautification plans for Puri, Ekamra Kshetra in Bhubaneswar and other places. Though Government has already started implementation of the beautification projects of Puri and Lingaraj temples, it remains to be seen how it make the allocations for the projects in the ensuing budget.
During the last financial year, the State had received around Rs 37,000 crore from the divisible pool of Central taxes. As the pool has shrunk almost by Rs 59,000 crore, transfer of funds to Odisha is likely to be affected.
Besides, though the tax and non-taxes resources of the State have increased, it will be difficult to cover all the welfare schemes launched by the Government. Despite the constraints, the budget for 2010-21 is likely to increase by at least 10 per cent compared to the previous budget.
The Finance Minister had presented Budget for 2019-20 in the Assembly with a total allocation of Rs 1.39 lakh crore. The budget for 2019-20 was 15 per cent more than the previous year’s budget.
The Cabinet also approved the action taken report of the 15th Finance Commission for allocation of funds for panchayatraj institutions and urban local bodies. The Chief Minister is also reported to have discussed with party colleagues about Government programmes for celebrating 20 year completion of BJD rule in Odisha on March 5 and birth anniversary of former chief minister Biju Patnaik.