Union Budget: Odisha CM expresses concern over decrease of allocation to central schemes

Bhubaneswar: Reacting to the Union Budget 2019-20, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday welcomed the medium to long term vision of the union government while hed expressed concern over the decrease in budgetary allocations for MGNREGA, PM-KISAN and several other schemes.

“The Union Budget, 2019-20 speaks of medium to long-term vision of the Government which is good for the country. However, these need to be backed by commensurate budgetary allocations,” said Patnaik.

He said the imposition of cess and surcharges by the central government, which remain outside the divisible pool further reduces the resources available to the states.

“While I welcome higher allocation for sectors like Health, Education, Skill Development, Drinking Water, Livelihood Mission, Women & Child Development, the decreased allocation for MGNREGA, core schemes for SC, ST and other vulnerable groups and pension under NSAP is a cause of concern,” Patnaik said.

“I wish the Union Government would have enhanced the quantum of assistance to farmers under PM-KISAN at par with KALIA scheme. Landless labourers and sharecroppers should also have been included in its fold,” he said.

“Increased allocation for Railways project is a welcome step. I hope the railway projects in Odisha would be fast-tracked with adequate allocation. However, reduced allocation for National Highways would adversely affect the inter-state connectivity,” the CM said.