Centre owes Odisha Rs 59,222 cr in 6 yrs

| | BHUBNAESWAR
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Centre owes Odisha Rs 59,222 cr in 6 yrs

Sunday, 28 February 2021 | SUDARSHAN CHHOTORAY | BHUBNAESWAR

Replying to the debate on the State Budget 2021-22 in the State Assembly on Saturday, Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari stated that Odisha has been deprived of Rs 59,222 crore from the Centre during last six years. This amount consists of the State’s legitimate claims based on the recommendations of Finance Commissions and tax share.

Pujari said that from the Divisible Pool, 58% goes for Consolidated Fund of India and remaining 42% distributed among the States.

He expressed concern over the Union Government’s deliberate attempt to scrap eight special programmes with 100% Central assistance like Backward Region Development Fund, Integrated Action Plan, etc. Odisha is going to lose Rs 54 crore for this. These special plans and programmes were revised time and again with 90:10, 75:25 and 60:40 per cent sharing between the State and the Centre.

Pujari informed that the State Government also lost Rs 732 crore from normal Central assistance.

While raising paddy procurement issue, Pujari said that though the FCI is mandated to procure various crops, including paddy, but keeping in view its failure to do so, the State Government has taken initiative to purchase paddy bearing the subsidy cost. However, the Central Government is yet to provide Rs 8,377 crore in this regard to the State.

On the increasing loan burden on the State, the Minister stated that the loan of the State this year is not Rs 44,000 crore, but the Government has to bear a net loan burden of Rs 20,000 crore. He assured that given the positive trends in the economy, Odisha would soon be on the recovery path.

Pujari pointed out that because of economic shrinkage everywhere in the globe for the Covid-19 pandemic, Odisha’s growth had been hit, but the gap of the per capita income of the State and that of the national level is decreasing.

While members from the Treasury Bench highlighted the State’s growth story, Opposition members cornered the Government on issues like the State’s increasing loan burden.

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