Budget has some good aspects which needs to be appreciated: Odisha CM Naveen

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday said that the budget has some good aspects which need to be appreciated and there are some concerns which needs to be looked into and addressed.

“Good steps are, increased capital investment, support to drinking water initiatives and increasing rural housing. These will accelerate growth as well as have social impact in rural areas. I also welcome the Prime Minister’s thrust on millets. ‘Odisha Millet Mission’ is a pioneering initiatives in the country and I am happy that millets have been given importance in the Budget,” said the CM.

The focus on new world technologies like artificial intelligence, Internet of Things etc. is appreciable. These are some of the good aspects of the Budget. The focus on primitive tribal groups is a welcome step, he added.

However, he expressed his displeasure over reduction of funds for MGNREGS.

“I have concerns regarding the drastic reduction of funds for MGNREGS. This will hit the poor people. The reduction in food security budget along with reduction in procurement will hit the poor people as well as farmers. About 80 thousand crore was spent on procurement in 2021-22 while only about 60 thousand crores is kept in this budget. This will cause serious problems in selling crops at Minimum Support Price,” he added.

“While in 2021-22 an amount of Rupees 2 lakh crores was spent under National Food Security, in this budget only 1.37 lakh crore is kept for this purpose. There has been a decrease or no growth in health and education sectors,” he added.

“Now to the point which Odisha BJP always harps on. The budget provision for Ayushman Bharat ‘PMJAY’ is Rs 7,200 crore for the entire country and Odisha spends almost about Rupees 2,400 crore on the BSKY in private facilities alone,” the BJD president said.

“If we include Government facilities it would be around Rupees 6 thousand crores annually under Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana. Health is an important priority for our State and we believe in investing and in sincere efforts,” he added.