June 17, 2014

navin-pSulochana DasBhubaneswar, June 17: Soon after Odisha’s new Finance Minister Pradip Amat presented a budget of Rs.80139.58 crore for 2014-15 in the State Assembly here on Tuesday with allocation of adequate funds under various populist-schemes, fourth-term Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressed happiness over the pro-poor budget.Patnaik, who has been ruling the State since 2000 by largely banking upon his father late Biju Patnaik’s legacy and publicising his late father’s dream of building a prosperous Odisha, said that he was happy that the budget had focused on his government’s “pro-poor and development agenda”.“The Finance Minister has presented the first budget of our government today.I am happy to see that we have focused on the pro poor and development agenda that we have been following right since 2000.”“We have addressed all the major issues in the election manifesto by making budgetary allocations,” Patnaik said in a statement that was e-mailed to the media organisations by the Chief Minister’s Office minutes after Amat finished his maiden budget speech inside the Assembly.“For instance, the Mo Kudia scheme has got a substantially higher allocation as have the Agriculture and allied sectors.We will also start a new Mukhya Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana to cover roads that have been left out under PMGSY (Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.Though Patnaik had already launched a series of welfare schemes named late Biju Patnaik, he had so far not named any scheme as Chief Minister’s Gram Sadak Yojana, copying the idea from PMGSY.Patnaik, however, was silent on the Finance Minister’s proposal to raise tax rate on liquor from 20% to 25% and also to restore the tax rate on petrol and diesel from 18% to 20%. .“The enhanced rate of tax on foreign liquor is based on the premise of ability to pay,” Amat had said, while adding that “these two measures will fetch additional revenue of Rs.375 crore per annum”.It remains to be seen for how long Patnaik could maintain his government’s popularity by announcing new schemes for the poor.

June 17, 2014 0 Comment