BHUBANESWAR: Even as the share of Odisha’s own revenue in total receipts in Budget 2020-21 has increased by two percentage points, stronger efforts are required to mobilise revenue from own sources, opined experts at a consultation here on Saturday.
"The tax policy for 2020-21 aims to strengthen tax administration by use of information technology, but the Budget lacks a holistic approach for strengthening own source of revenue mobilisation," they said.
Former chairperson of Odisha Public Service Commission Vivek Pattnaik said priority should be given to marginal and small farmers and agricultural labourers since the agriculture is the backbone of the economy. "The Government should priorities agro-based industries as it opens a lot of employment options for which institutions like IPICOL must be revived," he said.
Executive Director of the Delhi-based Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability Subrat Das said the State Budget needs to give more priority to higher education, health and urban sanitation since the Union Budget has not given much resources for these sub-sectors within social sector budget estimates.
Echoing similar sentiment, former Information Commissioner Jagadananda said strengthening the primary education system should be the focus of the government rather investing more on model schools. "Disaster resilient rural infrastructure is the need of the hour as the State is frequently affected by multiple disasters," he added.
Joint Secretary of Finance department Satyapriya Rath said the State share in Central taxes and grants in aid from the Centre contribute as much as 60 per cent of the overall receipts by Odisha. Hence, any shortfall in that affects the resource availability for the Budget, he added.The consultation was organised by Odisha Budget and Accountability Centre and Orissa Economics Association at the Centre for Youth and Social Development (CYSD).