Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 30:
Odisha Government will present its annual budget only after the Central Government presents the union budget 2016-17 in Parliament this year .
As per State Finance Minister Pradip Kumar Amat, the reason for holding back the budget would be to check Central Government allocations to various ongoing schemes and plan accordingly.
“Only after the Union Budget is presented, a clear picture on central allocation will emerge, which will help us make budgetary allocations for various schemes. Last year we had a tough time managing the budget as the centre stopped funding various schemes,” he said.
Besides, Amat didn’t rule out a vote-on-account before presenting the full-fledged budget.
“We don’t want to take any chance this year and have started working on the alternatives. Further, keeping the nature of the Union budget in mind, there is nothing wrong for the State Government to present a vote-on-account initially. A full-fledged budget can be presented later,” he added.
Notably, the State Government had to fund various Central Government schemes last year after the funding was either trimmed down or stopped altogether. It had to borrow Rs 3500 crore from the open market to make up for the fiscal deficit.
Speaker Niranjan Pujari has called an all-party meeting on February 1 to discuss the issue and take opposition parties on board before taking a final decision, said a well placed source in the government.
Both the major opposition parties in the Assembly confirmed that they would attend the meeting once they receive an official letter from the Speaker. None of the parties, however, revealed their stand before the meeting.