Odisha steps up demands for higher allocations in Union Budget 2024-25

Deputy CM KV Singh Deo demanded a second AIIMS at Sambalpur and partial funding from the Centre for the Subhadra scheme for promoting women's welfare.
Deputy Chief Minister KV Singh Deo presenting the demands of Odisha at the pre-budget meeting in New Delhi on Saturday
Deputy Chief Minister KV Singh Deo presenting the demands of Odisha at the pre-budget meeting in New Delhi on Saturday

BHUBANESWAR: Deputy Chief Minister KV Singh Deo stepped up Odisha’s demands for higher allocations in several sectors, including some flagships schemes, in the pre-budget meeting chaired by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi on Saturday.

Singh Deo, who attended the pre-budget and GST council meeting on behalf of Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi, demanded a second AIIMS at Sambalpur, expeditious completion of national highways in Odisha and partial funding from the Centre for the Subhadra scheme for promoting women's welfare.

Stating that a Viksit Odisha is going to play a crucial role of the growth engine in line with the vision of Viksit Bharat by 2047 propelling the nation’s progress, he urged the Finance Minister that some issues specific to the economy and finances of Odisha be addressed through appropriate measures in the ensuing Union Budget 2024-25.

“The state government is in the process of rolling out Subhadra Yojana, under which every woman will receive a cash voucher of Rs 50,000 to be spent over a period of two years. This is an innovative initiative aimed at empowering women and enhancing entrepreneurship among women,” he said and sought partial support from the Centre for implementation of the path-breaking initiative.

The first BJP government in the state has demanded provisioning of special schemes in the Union budget to promote industries in tribal and rural areas of Western and Southern Odisha besides dedicated funding for infrastructure development and skill training infrastructure in these regions.

Although AIIMS-Bhubaneswar is catering to the secondary and tertiary healthcare needs of coastal Odisha and neighbouring states, the deputy CM said a second AIIMS at Sambalpur is needed to cater to the patients of the western part of Odisha in view of the patient load in the medical colleges and hospitals there.

Apart from allocation of funds for 5 lakh houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) in 2024-25, Singh Deo demanded to take up the 348-km coastal highway project under Bharatmala Pariyojana and 111-km Odisha Capital Region Ring Road (CRRR) project having six-lane access-controlled highway around Bhubaneswar and Cuttack city by NHAI on priority basis for socio-economic growth.

The Union Finance Minister was requested for higher allocation under the scheme for Special Assistance to states for Capital Investment (SACI), more number of brick and mortar branches and ATMs in the unbanked/under-banked GPs, improvement in telecom and power infrastructure and inclusion of Odisha, having privatised DISCOMs, for the central government funded Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS).

Odisha also demanded assistance for increasing urbanisation and fast-tracking environmental clearances for industrial projects, financial support for pumped hydro storage plants, floating solar projects, intrastate green corridor and new technologies such as green hydrogen, adequate funds to address power sector issues for reduction in cost of supply and reliable power, advance indication on central assistance for centrally sponsored schemes (CSS) and lifting of surplus rice of the state during the on-going kharif marketing season 2023-24.

Among other demands, Singh Deo sought assistance for engaging with international investors and channelling foreign direct investments in relevant sectors, support to attract semiconductor industries to make Odisha a semiconductor hub, dedicated budget allocations and resources for development of industrial infrastructure and expediting central government projects like Sagarmala, East Coast Economic Corridor and National Waterway-5.

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