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Nothing in budget for Odisha, says Naveen


Reported by Chinmaya Dehury

Bhubaneswar, July 10:

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has said there is nothing for Odisha in the budget presented in Parliament by Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley today except for an IIM.

Naveen PatnaikReacting to the budget proposals, the Chief Minister rued the fact that the proposed textile mega cluster has bypassed Odisha ‘as usual’.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has proposed setting up of new textile mega clusters. The mega-clusters will be set up at Bareily and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, Surat and Kuttch in Gujarat, Bhagalpur in Bihar, Mysore in Karnataka, and one in Tamil Nadu. For this, a sum of Rs. 200 crore has been allocated.

Patnaik said the nominal increase in allocation for flagship schemes would hurt the development process of states. “Meagre allocation on ambitious programmes like rural electrification speaks of tokenism,” he said.

Maintaining that the concerns of states about loss on account of central sales tax (CST) had not been addressed in the budget, Patnaik said; “Fiscal consolidation without revenue generation through introduction of GST is a misnomer.”

It is to be noted that Patnaik had met Jaitley prior to the budget and had urged him to either fully compensate the state for the CST loss or restore the CST rate to original 4% till implementation of Goods & Services Tax (GST).

The chief minister said the budget lacked focus in agriculture, irrigation and social sector, which should have got greater priority in view of the high inflation and the spectre of drought in many parts of the country.