Naveen On Middle Path

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik took a middle path as he expressed mixed reaction to proposals of the Union Budget 2019-20, presented by Union Minister Finance and Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman in the Parliament.

Mr.Patnaik said while it was one of medium to long-term vision of the Government and good for the country, the decreased allocations for MGNREGA, core schemes for SC, ST and other vulnerable groups and NSAP pension is a cause of concern.
Chief Minister also rued the imposition of cess  and surcharges  by  the Central Government which remain outside the divisible pool further reduces the resources available to the States.

Though he said it is good for the country, these need to be backed by commensurate budgetary allocations, he said in his reaction after the proposals were tabled by Ms.Sitharaman.

“While I welcome higher allocation for sectors like Health, Education, Skill Development, Drinking Water, Livelihood Mission, Women & Child Development,     the     decreased     allocation     for MGNREGA,   core  schemes  for  SC,   ST  and   other vulnerable groups and Pension under NSAP is a cause of concern,” he said.

Mr.Patnaik welcomed the increased   allocation   for   Railway   projects,and said while hoping that the railway projects in Odisha would be fast-tracked with adequate allocation.
“However, reduced allocation for National Highways would adversely affect the inter-State connectivity,” he felt.
Mr.Patnaik said the   Union   Budget  also  lays  emphasis  on   rural connectivity through PMGSY, housing through PMAY and Swachh Bharat Mission.
“However, these need to be backed by allocation of funds,” he opined.
However, he said, the Union Government should have enhanced the quantum of assistance to farmers under the PM-KISAN scheme.
“I wish the Union Government would have enhanced the quantum of assistance to farmers under "PM-KISAN" at par with our "KALIA" scheme. Landless labourers and share-croppers should also have been included in its fold,” he said.
BJD Cuttack MP Bhartruhari Mahtab termed the budget as historic, and said it will take India on a different trajectory.
"In the past five years, India has witnessed economic growth despite the global slowdown and things will only get difficult in future. The idea to take India to a $5 trillion economy is doable, but specific steps need to be taken in this regard. I hope the government works as per its plan," he said.
Mr.Mahtab, however, said that the rise in petrol prices will hit people.
But MP Prasanna Acharya described the budget as ornamental.
He said the Finance Minister's speech is a jugglery of words.
"There are a few welcoming steps in the budget but most of the announcements made by the finance minister seem to be pointless," he said.
Mr.Acharya said that the Centre had promised to double the income of farmers within a stipulated time period.
"There have been no major declarations for the farming and labour sector,” he said adding, “They have announced pension for traders but nothing on those lines for the farmers.”
The BJD MP was also critical of the proposed relaxation on local sourcing norms in foreign direct investment (FDI) in single-brand which he said will adversely impact the street vendors.

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