Union Budget 2016-17: Odisha CM Unhappy

BHUBANESWAR: Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday said the union budget 2016-17 has deprived state’s rightful share, and it would stretch state’s finance on account of less than the anticipated transfer of resources from the centre.

Reacting over the budget allocation, the chief minister said there is a mismatch in the growth of net tax revenue to the centre and tax devolution to the states.

“The net tax revenue to the centre has been projected to increase by about 3 percent from Rs.9.20 lakh crore in Budget estimates for 2015-16 to Rs.9.48 lakh crore in revised estimates, 2015-16, whereas the tax devolution to the states has gone down by about 3.5 percent in the revised estimates,” said Patnaik.

He said this is indicative of the fact that the centre is depriving the states of their share through a levy of cess and surcharge, which do not form a part of the shareable pool.

Drawing a comparison with the recommendations of the Fourteenth Finance Commission, he said it is seen that, the share of Odisha is less by about Rs.3500 crore in 2015-16 and Rs.4600 crore in 2016-17 from the recommended level.

“Depriving the states of their legitimate share is rather unfair. The finances of the state would be stretched on account of less than the anticipated transfer of resources from the centre,” said Patnaik.

Even though he welcomed the enhanced allocation for the agriculture, housing, drinking water and sanitation, urban development livelihood improvement programmes and road infrastructure sectors, he criticised the centre for less allocation to the irrigation sector.

The chief minister said it is hugely disappointing to note that there has been an insignificant increase under PMKSY, the flagship irrigation scheme of the union government, from Rs.5300 crores to Rs.5700 crores only for the entire country.

“For a realistic comparison, our state Budget for water resources last year was more than Rs.6500 crores,” said Patnaik.

“Also I am not able to understand the logic behind the huge cut in allocation for both Primary and Higher Education sectors,” said the chief minister.

He also said the allocation for Tribal Welfare under Article-275(1) and TSP is almost stagnant and added that this is a huge disappointment from Odisha.

As the state government has taken a decision to table the state budget after the presentation of union budget, the chief minister said, “While looking back, the state government has taken the right decision to place its budget after the presentation of union budget. Otherwise, it would have been an impractical guess work.”