Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 20:
With the Central government again keeping the Odisha government in the dark about its share in 33 centrally sponsored schemes, both Finance and Planning & Coordination departments are at their wit’s end on how to start preparations for the state’s supplementary budget set to begin in the first week of next month.
The worries of the state government mounted after NITI Aayog director Jitendra Singh expressed his helplessness in giving a clear picture on the proportion of Centre-State share to be fixed for the 33 centrally sponsored schemes at a high-level meeting chaired by development commissioner U N Behera at the state secretariat here yesterday.
Singh expressed his helplessness over the matter at the meeting since the Chief Ministerial level sub- committee report was yet to be available. He expected the report to be available within a month. The real picture over the share of the states in 33 centrally sponsored schemes will be known only after the report is available, he said
On the other hand, the development commissioner has directed secretaries of different departments to again contact with their respective departments at the Centre over centrally sponsored schemes.
The Central government has shelved eight principal schemes while its is yet to decide on the Cente-State share in 33 other centrally sponsored schemes, revealed a senior official of the state government He said the Agriculture department has received 10-15% funds in one or two programmes while funds are yet to be received in all other programmes. As a consequence, all other programmes have come to a halt in the first six months of the fiscal.
State government officials at Saturday’s meeting presented a grim picture of the state’s financial situation before the NITI Aayog’s director. The officials gave details of how the government’s programmes have become directionless because of the Centre keeping it in suspense.
Singh said the report of the 11-member Chief Ministerial level sub-committee headed by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan was yet to be submitted because Chief Ministers of some non-BJP ruled states were yet to sign it. He said only after the report is available will the NITI Aayog and the Union Finance Ministry discuss it and then apprise the States about it.
During the meeting, the Finance department cited that the state has sustained a loss of Rs 1854 crore due to closure of eight schemes by the Central government and another Rs 732 crore by way of general Central assistance. Besides, the state will also lose Rs 4,260 crore if there is funds cut in 33 centrally sponsored schemes. The state is already sustaining a loss of Rs 1,190 crore in Central assistance by the Finance Commission. In lieu of that, the state government will get Rs 5,888 crore as per the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission, which means the state will incur a net loss of Rs 2,148 crore , state government officials told Singh at the meeting.