Budget 2024-25 to set stage for BJP’s vision for Odisha

10 out of the 21 poll promises are welfare measures and need special fund allocation.
BJP flag used for representational purpose only.
BJP flag used for representational purpose only.Photo| PTI

BHUBANESWAR: All eyes are on the first BJP government which is likely to table the full-fledged budget for 2024-25 fiscal in the Assembly next month.

On February 8, the outgoing Naveen Patnaik government had presented an interim budget of Rs 1.18 lakh crore to meet expenditure of the first four months of 2024-25. The total budget size was then fixed at Rs 2.55 lakh crore, 11 per cent more than the provisions made for 2023-24.

The fresh budget, likely to be within the limit given the fiscal prudence of the state, is expected to set the stage for adopting the BJP’s poll promises to the people. The party had made 21 promises in its poll manifesto that included initiatives to boost agriculture and rural development, strengthening infrastructure, augmentation of healthcare, stimulating industrial growth, improving education standards and promoting employment generation.

New schemes like Subhadra Yojana under which a cash voucher of Rs 50,000 will be provided to every women, Mission Swasthya Odisha to strengthen PHCs and CHCs besides establishing a nursing college, medical college and super-speciality hospital in every district, Mukhyamantri Sahayata Yojana to provide pension of Rs 3,000 per month to the elderly, persons with disabilities, widows and destitute and Rs 5,000 to all tribal students to encourage them to attend schools were promised.

The BJP had also assured to implement a new agriculture policy to provide Rs 3,100 per quintal of paddy as support price, launch Kendu Patra Tolali Kalyan Yojana, set up Odia Samudaya Bhawan in all metro cities of the country, create 25 lakh ‘Lakhpati didis’ by 2027, provide Rs 10,000 to every fishermen, establish textile parks, supply free electricity under PM-Surya Ghar and recruitment to 65,000 posts in two years.

Sources said since 10 of 21 poll promises are welfare measures and need special fund allocation, it remains to be seen whether the government would like to implement these in toto or in a phased manner. Provisions in the budget will be made accordingly.

In the first cabinet meeting on Wednesday, the state government cleared four proposals including a corpus fund of Rs 500 crore for conservation and renovation of Shree Jagannath temple at Puri, Subhadra Yojana and paddy support price of Rs 3,100 per quintal.

“Preparation of a fresh budget will start after the new ministers take charge of their respective departments. Since the interim budget is in force till July 31, the fresh budget will be presented by next month,” said a Finance department official.

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The New Indian Express