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Austerity On Cards

With revenue generation making serious dent and requirement of funds for COVID-19 Pandemic Control, the State Government will be forced to adopt austerity measures and reduce wasteful expenditure. 

Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) Pandemic has dented the Economy severely and under prevailing circumstances, State Government will be taking austerity measures, experts say.
There is mismatch between receipts and expenditure in the State Government as generation of revenue has gone down.
Salary and Pension expenditure is high than the revenue receipts. So administrative expenditure is needed to be curbed, experts advise.
Earlier State Government decided to go for 50 Percent cut monthly salary of Ministers and All India Service (IAS, IPS and IFS) Officers.
So far revenue generation is concerned, Odisha is a mineral rich State and every month it was expected that more than Rs.1000 Crore will be generated.
But during last two months hardly Rs.700 Crores has come to Treasury from this sector, admits a senior official in Department of Steel and Mines.
Sources said that Revenue Generation has gone down badly and take for example, while Monthly Excise Revenue was targeted at Rs.350 Crore, hardly Rs.3 Crore came to State Exchequer in last month as sale of liquor was totally stopped.
Now it is high time that appropriate austerity measures needed for the State Economy and reduction of the wasteful expenditure so that more resources are to be made available for battling the COVID-19 Pandemic and bringing the economy back on track.
The spread of the pandemic has thrown various challenges before the State which were never faced before, Experts reckoned.
The pandemic has dented the economy severely. In the prevailing scenario, it becomes an imperative for the state to bring in greater economy in the expenses and set an example, said he.
The need of the hour is to make available greater resources towards COVID-19 relief measures and for reviving the economy, he observed.
Adoption of austerity measures to reduce expenditure so as to give some relief to the State Exchequer is the need of the hour, they say.
Now a Survey is required to be done on Public Sector Undertakings to gauge the wasteful expenditures adopted by these organizations, which needed to be curtailed, experts say. Now expenditure under COVID-19 Account is on rise and it will go up in coming months.
So Budget Allocations are needed to be reviewed and funds are needed to be arranged due to rise in COVID-19 Spending.
While Government of India has stopped funding for new projects, Capital Expenditure is likely to be curtailed and most likely the State Government will not be taking up new projects, officials say.
In the meantime the State Government has issued orders for depositing back in Treasury, which are lying in the Commercial Banks for years together.
This will ease liquidity problem of the State Government, which is facing cash crunch.
State Government will be taking up the matter with the Union Government to clear the dues pending with the Centre, sources said.
Accordingly Resident Commissioner New Delhi is taking up issues with various Ministries, officials say.


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