Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday welcomed the Union Budget for 2018-19, which proposed to increase Minimum Support Price to 1.5 times of the cost of production of crops and introduction of National Health Protection Scheme.
He, however, expressed his disappointment over low allocations for MGNREGA, Mid-Day-Meal scheme, National Health Mission and PMGSY.
“It has been our constant demand to increase the Minimum Support Price to 1.5 times of the cost of production of crops. I am happy that it looks like our demand has been accepted,” said the Chief Minister.
He, however, said the cost of production must take into account the actual cost incurred by farmers on a realistic basis.
“I welcome the intent of the Central Government. At the same time, I am keenly waiting to see the modalities of calculation,” he added.
The Chief Minister also expressed his happiness for the introduction of a National Health Protection Scheme to cover 10 crores poor.
“I am happy to note that a National Health Protection Scheme has been announced to cover 10 crores poor. It would have been better that instead of a target of 10 crores, universal coverage extending to all eligible poor families was incorporated. If such a step is taken, State Government will fully support,” said the Chief Minister.
He expressed his disappoint as the Central Government has again missed out the focus for KBK (Koraput, Bolangir and Kalahandi districts) and other Tribal areas.
“I am disappointed that again the Central Government has missed out the focus on KBK and other Tribal areas. In fact, the allocation for SCs, STs and other vulnerable sections and social sectors is grossly inadequate,” he added.
The Chief Minister also expressed his concern over the low level of allocations for MGNREGA, Mid-Day Meal scheme, National Health Mission and PMGSY.
“I am surprised by the reduction in allocation under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, while we have a commitment towards Housing for All,” said Patnaik.