Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday welcomed tax benefits, DBT proposal for small and marginal farmers on lines of State’s KALIA scheme announced in the Union Interim Budget, but said he is disappointed as there is nothing for landless poor, share croppers and farmers in distress.
Patnaik gave only two marks on a scale of 10 to the Budget.
“I welcome the tax benefits planned for middle and lower income groups. I also welcome the direct benefit transfer proposed for small and marginal farmers 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. Rs 10,000 per year. Also there is nothing for landless poor, sharecroppers and farmers in distress,” said Patnaik.
Maintaining that some initiatives taken towards MSME sector was encouraging, Patnaik said, however, this did not suffice to meet the needs of employment generation in the country.
Patnaik said he was deeply disappointed with 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, said Patnaik.
“I am also disappointed with the allocation for ST, SC welfare both in infrastructure and education. We have been requesting to restore the Scholarship Funds for SC students which have not been done. The allocation for MGNREGS is lower than the allocation in the revised estimate. This will adversely affect timely wage payments. The budget allocation on rural consecutively, rural housing and drinking water have been reduced or have remained at previous level. This is not encouraging,” added Patnaik.
Maintaining that the Fourteenth Finance Commission recommended total transfer of Rs 1,80,700 crore during the award period of 2015-20, Patnaik said, however, based on the actual receipts for 2015-18, Revised Estimates for 2018-19 and Budget Estimates for 2019-20, the State is going to receive only Rs 1,50,8,28 crore
“Thus, the State will be hit with a short fall of Rs 26,03,42 crore,” said Patnaik.
Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik also termed the Interim Union Budget as ‘disappointing’ and said there is nothing special for youths in the budget.
“There is nothing special for youths in the budget. Farmers have been insulted by being offered Rs 6,000,” said Patnaik.
On other hand BJP State unit president Basant Panda termed Budget “historic” and people friendly. Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan too termed the Budget as pro-poor, pro-farmer, pro-middle class and pro-development.