Prudent allocation to aid economic revival: Odisha Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari

Odidhs FM Niranjan Pujari said prudent resource allocation in the Budget 2021-22 will set the course for economic revival after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Odisha Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari (Photo | EPS)
Odisha Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari (Photo | EPS)

BHUBANESWAR :  Asserting that the State government has made efforts to use available resources in the best possible way, Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari on Saturday said prudent resource allocation in the Budget 2021-22 will set the course for economic revival after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Terming the Budget as welfare and growth oriented, Pujari in his reply to general discussions on Budget said several reform measures have been initiated under the leadership of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to enhance credibility, accountability and transparency in the budget-making process and it will give an insight into the quality of expenditure.

“We have brought in a multi-year structure to the budget-making process through the introduction of a Medium-Term Fiscal Framework (MTFF), Fiscal Strategy Report (FSR), Status Paper on Public Debt, Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Budget to enhance disclosure standards in public financing,” he said. Responding to the apprehension of some members about the debt sustainability of the State, the Finance Minister said there is nothing to fear as the debt to GSDP ratio and interest paid to revenue realisation was well within the prescribed limit of 25 per cent and 15 per cent respectively in 2019-20.

Expecting a revenue surplus of Rs 6,032 crore in 2021-22, which will be 1.03 per cent of the GSDP, Pujari said the fiscal deficit pegged at Rs 20,465 crore will be around 3.49 per cent of the GSDP. 

However, given the compliance to the prevailing norms of the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, the fiscal deficit at 3.49 per cent as targeted for the ensuing financial year does not leave much leeway for the government to additional public expenditure, said Leader of Opposition Pradipta Naik.

Naik said the government has not made adequate provision for capital expenditure that will create employment opportunity.

Members from both BJP and Congress criticised the government for huge unemployment and its failure to create jobs resulting in large number of people migrating to other states. They also came down heavily on the government for not filling up large number of vacant posts in different departments especially in educational institutions and hospitals.

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