Budget lacks focus in crucial areas: Naveen Patnaik
Bhubaneswar: Slamming the union budget, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday said it lacked focus in areas like agriculture, irrigation and the social sector, while the country was hit by inflation coupled with a prevailing drought like situation.
"Under the prevailing circumstances with high inflation coupled with drought-like scenario greater focus should have been given on agriculture, irrigation and social sector. However, the union budget lacks focus in all these crucial areas," Patnaik told reporters.
Stating that fiscal consolidation without revenue gain through introduction of GST was a `misnomer`, Patnaik said the concerns of states for adequate compensation for loss in central sales tax was not tackled.
"Nominal increase in allocation for flagship schemes will hurt the development process of the states," he said.
On issues relating to the state, Patnaik said "Except for the promise of an IIM, there is nothing for Odisha in this budget. As usual, the Textile Mega Cluster has by-passed the state in this budget.
"Meagre allocation on ambitious programmes like rural electrification speaks of tokenism," the chief minister added.
Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee President Jaydev Jena termed the budget as an attempt to appease industrialists and capitalists.
"There is no provision in the budget to tackle the price rise," Jena said in a statement.
Dubbing the budget as disappointing, former OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik said there was nothing for backward states like Odisha.
CPI`s Odisha unit secretary Dibakar Nayak said in a statement that the budget did not have anything to safeguard the interests of the poor and common people.
While the path for FDI in defence and insurance was cleared, agriculture, irrigation, education and health sectors were neglected, he said.
"FDI in defence and insurance and PP mode of infrastructure development has exposed the real character of BJP led Narendra Modi government," added Samajwadi Party state president, Rabi Behera.
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