Odisha CM terms Interim Union Budget disappointing

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday expressed his disappointment over the Interim Union Budget presented in the Parilament.

He said there is lack of initiatives for landless poor, sharecroppers, MSMEs and social security.

The Chief Minister, however, welcomed the tax benefits planned for middle and lower income groups,.

“I also welcome the direct benefit transfer proposed for small and marginal famers on lines of our KALIA Scheme. However, it would have benefitted the farmers more if the quantum of assistance is equal or more than our KALIA Scheme i.e. Rupees ten thousand per year. Also, there is nothing for landless poor, share croppers and farmers in distress,” said the Chief Minister.

Some initiatives taken towards MSME sector is encouraging. However, this does not suffice to meet the needs of employment generation in the country, he said.

“I am deeply disappointed with the National Social Security Scheme i.e. Old Age Pension and other pensions have not been revised at all. The state is covering 48 lakh beneficiaries with Rs 500 per month while Centre is giving Rs.200 per month for 20 lakh beneficiaries only,” informed the Chief Minister.

He also expressed his disappointment with the allocation for ST SC welfare both in infrastructure and education.

He said the government has been requesting to restore the scholarship funds for SC students, which has not been done.

The Chief Minister said the allocation for MGNREGS is lower than the allocation in the revised estimate and this will adversely affect timely wage payments.

“The Budget allocation on rural connectivity, rural housing and drinking water have been reduced or have remained at previous level. This is not encouraging,” he added.

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