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Odisha budget to be placed today

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, June 17:

The Odisha budget for the 2014-2015 financial year will be placed in the state Assembly by Finance minister Pradip Amat this evening.

Odisha AssemblyThe budget is expected to be of the order of Rs 80, 000 crore, Rs 4, 000 crore more than the Rs 76, 000 projected in the vote-on-account passed in the 14th Assembly on February 7.

Sources said the higher budget allocation is aimed at generating the required resources for fulfilment of the number of promises the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) had made in its poll manifesto.

The promises that would need the maximum resource allocation are conversion of all kutcha houses in the state to pucca ones, conversion of all dirt roads into concrete roads and food security and health insurance for all.

But the scope for raising additional resources to fund these schemes is limited. In the event, just about the only option available to the Finance minister is to raise excise duty on items like Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL) and paan masala and higher VAT on motor vehicles.