Congress dubs Odisha budget as regressive and hollow

The Congress on Tuesday dubbed Odisha budget as regressive and hollow, claiming that BJD government's claim about 5.15 percent increase in budgetary outlay is misleading as there is no hike in real terms.

PTI| Last Updated: Feb 17, 2015, 19:08 PM IST

Bhubaneswar: The Congress on Tuesday dubbed Odisha budget as regressive and hollow, claiming that BJD government's claim about 5.15 percent increase in budgetary outlay is misleading as there is no hike in real terms.

"Despite government's claim of raising budget size for 2015-16 by about 5.15 percent to Rs 84,487.77 crore from Rs 80139.8 crore in 2014-15, in real terms there was no hike in view of impact of inflation," state Congress president Prasad Harichandan told reporters.

Increase in budgetary outlay also failed to neutralise the inflationary impact if one takes into account around seven percent inflation, Harichandan said, adding: "Practically there has been no increase in budget size and rather the outlay has been decreased."

Terming provisions and figures shown in the budget as an eyewash to mislead the people, the OPCC chief said the BJD government has not only weakened the state's economy but also pushed it to a state of bankruptcy.

As per official statistics, the state faced a debt burden of over Rs 56,640 crore, the Congress leader said adding even the budget estimates including that for the state plan were revised downwards in the current fiscal, making the present exercise regressive and hollow.

Accusing the government of neglecting several major sectors in the budget, Harichandan said making a separate agriculture budget was of no meaning when the farmers are forced to undertake distress sale of paddy.

The government appeared to have forgotten about its promise of providing free power to farmers, he said adding while agriculture recorded negative growth, there was no provision to deal with suicide of farmers.

The health sector received a lip service at a time when different parts of the state were hit by diseases like jaundice and swine flu, he said adding there is no concrete measure to tackle growing unemployment.

There is no provision to remove regional imbalance, provide safe drinking water to all and spread irrigation, he said and sought to know whether there was any provision to ensure agriculture loans to farmers at two per cent interest rate as promised by the BJD in poll manifesto.

Interestingly, Harichandan said, the BJD government launched its own schemes in those sectors where central programmes already exist.

Like Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, Odisha started Chief Minsiter's Gram Sadak Yojana, and BJD government planned to bring its own food security regulation instead of implementing the Centre's Food Security Act, he said.