Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has raised several issues concerning the state before the central government and urged to address the demands of the state in the Union Budget- 2017-18.
Attending the pre-budget consultations with the states called by the union finance minister, Odisha finance minister Pradip Amat raised some specific issues relating to the economy and finances of Odisha which could be addressed through appropriate measures in the Union Budget.
The following are what Odisha wants from the Union Budget 2017-18 :
- In the aftermath of the demonetization, the state government wants the supply of notes especially of Rs.100/- and Rs.500/- and the restriction on a daily and weekly limit on withdrawal of funds from Bank Accounts should also be lifted.
- Simplification of the direct tax regime, lower corporate, and personal tax rates, fewer tax exemptions may spur investment and growth.
- There is also a need for bringing about uniformity in the import duty structure to remove the pitfalls of an inverted duty structure so as to encourage the manufacturing sector.
- Cess and Surcharge on Central Taxes: The Cess and Surcharge levied by Government of India do not form a part of the divisible pool. We urge upon Government of India to gradually eliminate Cess and Surcharge on the Customs duty and Direct Taxes in a phased manner.
- CST Compensation: It is requested that the CST compensation for the year 2012-13 onwards should be released to the States immediately as we are going for GST from the next financial year. It is further reiterated that CST compensation from 2013-14 onwards may also be considered by the Central Government especially in view of declining revenues in the aftermath of demonetization.
- Estimation of GSDP for working out Annual Borrowing Ceiling of State Governments: We have requested Government of India to adopt the methodology prescribed by the 14th Finance Commission for estimation of GSDP without any further adjustment for calculation of annual borrowing ceiling of the State Governments in the coming years.
- Pre-payment of National Small Savings Fund (NSSF) Loan: Government of Odisha had requested for prepayment of NSSF loans carrying the interest rate of 10.50% per annum. It is suggested that Government of India may allow the State Government to repay high-cost loan from NSSF.
- Financial inclusion in the State: Instruction may be issued from the Ministry of Finance, Government of India to all Banks to open bank branches in identified unbanked GPs. The payment banks licensed by Reserve Bank of India may also be mandated to open branches in some of the unbanked GPs.
- Proposals on Railways for Odisha in 2017-18: The state government has requested Minister of Railways for a package of Rs.5,870 crore for railway infrastructure in Odisha.
- Establishment of Eastern Industrial Corridor through Odisha: Government of India is urged upon to provide a backward and forward linkage for the industrial hinterlands of Dhamra, Gopalpur and Paradeep Ports with the Northern and Central hinterlands through a dedicated freight corridor between Vishakhapatnam and Kolkata through Odisha in the Union Budget, 2017-18.
- Provision of sufficient funds for development and Maintenance of National Highway: Adequate funds may be provided in the Union Budget to Ministry of Road Transport & Highways for repair, maintenance, and development of National Highways.
- Establishment of New Medical Colleges attached with District/Referral Hospitals: Government of India may expedite the release of the balance funds for these new Medical Colleges in time so as to complete the infrastructure and start operation in 2017.
- Revision of Royalty on Coal: The royalty on Coal was last revised by Government of India in April 2012. As per the norm, the rate of royalty on Coal should be revised every 3 years, which is due for revision in April 2015. Hence, it is requested that Government of India should revise the royalty on Coal immediately without further delay.
- Estimation of Central Share of AIBP projects at realistic level: We urge upon Government of India to finance the central share of the project on the 2016 price level including the cost of the establishment so as to lessen the financial burden of the State Government.