With COVID-19 Pandemic, Odisha Government’s Developmental Spending as percentage of the Budget Provision was less as compared to last year during these five months(April-August).
While there was more provisions in the Annual Budget of 2020-21, the program expenditure was much less as compared to allocation.
Latest Fiscal Performance Indicator reveals that 19.38 Percent of Budget Provisioning was spent till August, 2020 while spending during 2019-20 31 August it was 23.27 Percent of the Budget Allocation.
Decrease in expenditure by 5.13 Percent while there was 13.92 Percent increase in Budget Provision.
Officials attribute to the lower level of developmental expenditure is mainly due to imposition of strategic lockdown/ and shutdown to deal with outbreak of Novel Corona Virus(COVID-19) Pandemic
In fact COVID-19 has created havoc across the country and Odisha is facing most difficult times.
Officials say that total expenditure as percentage of Budget provision is 23.71 percent till August, 2020 which is 11.65 Percent lower than that of 2019.
Utilization in Agriculture and Allied Sector is 10.45 Percent as compared to 26.27 Percent the previous year, officials admit.
Infrastructure sector spending is 15.19 Percent against 27.52 Percent previous year.
This is because due to lock down and shut down all constructions of roads, highways, building and complexes, irrigation projects came to stand still due to COVID-19 Pandemic.
However the percentage utilization of Budget Allocation in social sector was more as compared to last year.
Social Sector spending was 29.65 Percent as compared to 28.13 Percent during 2019-20 by 31 August.
Spending in in Agriculture and Allied sector till August, 2020 has been 7.87 Percent of Budget Estimates compared to 25.52 Percent during 2019-20 and has decreased by about 70.03 Percent over last year.
The Programme Expenditure in Infrastructure has decreased by about 35.48 Percent.
The Social Sector Expenditure has increased by about 29.09 Percent mainly due to higher spending in Health, Livelihoods and Social Security Transfers.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik harped on saving lives and livelihood during COVID-19 Pandemic, naturally spending was higher in saving lives and livelihood, officials say.
"I assure all that the state will put every resource at its command to fight this pandemic and save people’s lives. Funds will never be a constraint when it involves protecting our people," Mr.Patnaik said.
Accordingly, expenditure in Health Sector for COVID-19 Control was more and providing livelihood opportunities, there was growth in Program Expenditure, officials say.
Officials also point out that the spending in other sectors has increased by about 183.62 Percent.
This is mainly due to higher expenditure on Food Security and fund transfer to Public Distribution Scheme (PDS) card holders as part of COVID-19 Management, they admit.