Congress alleges BJD govt misleading people on Central funds
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Last Updated: Friday, March 25, 2011, 21:28
Bhubaneswar: Mounting a scathing attack on BJD government in Orissa, Congress on Friday accused it of "misleading" people by alleging negligence by Centre to hide its corruption, inefficiency and inability to spend 37 per cent of the Central funds.

Dubbing Naveen Patnaik government as "non-performing" despite burgeoning Central support, senior leaders including state Congress chief K P Singhdeo, leader of opposition Bhupinder Singh and MLA and PCC general secretary Naba Kishore Das vowed to launch a campaign to expose its failure.

Stung by a series of scams including the dal scandal affecting children and pregnant women, the BJD government has been trying to divert public attention by blaming Centre for everything but "we will make people aware," Singhdeo said.

"While 37 per cent of Central funds received by Orissa for various programmes remained unspent, the state government always alleges negligence by Centre," Naba Kishore Das told reporters after a report "State of Central Support for Development of Orissa" was released here.

Similarly, Orissa was given about 57 per cent of the Central taxes raised from the state but there is always a blame game and shifting responsibilities on the part of ruling BJD putting the people in dilemma, Das claimed.

Accusing BJD government of often lying, the Congress leaders said Revenue minister S N Patro, who yesterday claimed in assembly that Centre was yet to sanction help for drought and unseasonal rains, today admitted that funds had come.

Stating that the date used in the report were gathered from secondary and published sources from Orissa government, the PCC general secretary said the state is also very poor in mobilising own revenue sources over years.

Despite high growth of 15 per cent during 2010-11, half of population in the state are living below poverty line amid low human development, gender disparity, bad quality of development services and access of the poor, decline in agriculture productivity and foodgrain production, he said.

Though Centre has contributed several people oriented programmes like NREGS and right to education Act with ample funds, non-transparent administration disturbs the life of common man, he claimed.

In view of Orissa's excessive dependence on central transfers, the volatility of state's own revenue created a big fiscal crisis, Das said.

Slamming Orissa government for poor revenue mobilisation, he said annual average growth rate of state's revenue during 2004-05 to 2009-10 was 14.07 per cent while growth rate for Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand stood at 21.83 per cent and 20.83 per cent respectively during the period.

Again, the contribution of own revenue receipt for Orissa to the total revenue receipt is less than 50 per cent whereas Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh contribute more than two third over the years, he said.

Referring to share of state plan in total plan, the MLA from Jharsuguda said the central plan and central sponsored plan funds together show an increasing share over the years which proves wrong the charge of central negligence.

During 2001-02 the share of state plan to total plan was 84.5 per cent which in continued to decline to reach 77.5 per cent in 2010-11, he said.

On the other hand, Das and his party colleagues said, the share of central plan and central sponsored plan together was 15.5 per cent and has grown to 22.5 per cent.

The Congress leaders further attacked the BJD government saying the utilisation of Central plan and Central sponsored plan funds was very minimal compared to the utilisation of state plans.

Stating that the present state of affairs of Orissa was not conducive to development of poor people, they said the distance between the administration as well as ruling party and the common citizens had grown.

Such attitude of the government would lead to serious crisis if appropriate steps are not taken to bring about corrective measures, they said.


First Published: Friday, March 25, 2011, 21:28

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