Bhubaneswar: Odisha Government has urged Centre to make provision of Rs.7200 Crore for railway Infrastructure and Rs.5,650 Crore for Telecom Sector in Odisha in the Next Annual Budget of Union Government.
Minister, Finance Niranjan Pujari Monday has urged Union Minister Finance to make provision of at least Rs.7,200 crore in the forthcoming Budget, 2021-22 for railway infrastructure in Odisha. Principal Secretary Finance, Ashok Kumar Meena was present during the Meeting.
This was asked for the on-going projects, sanctioning of new line, station modernization, establishment of rail based industries, multi-modal logistics parks etc Financial inclusion in the State of Odisha.
He also urged for allocation of at least Rs.5,650 crore should be made for Telecom sector for Odisha for the year 2021-22 in Union Budget.
Provision of sufficient funds for development and maintenance of National Highways was raised by Minister Finance, Mr.Pujari.
Mr.Pujari raised some issues common to States and specific issues concerning our State in the Pre-Budget Consultation Meeting of Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman.
Some of the important issues are: Amendment of sub-section (3) of Section 8 of Central Sales Tax Act, 1956 to prohibit misuse of ‘C’ Forms by the manufacturers, mining contractors and works contractors for interstate purchase of High Speed Diesel (HSD) paying CST @2%.
Addressing Power Sector issues like Amendment in Tariff Policy to terminate very old PPAs, Amendment to Electricity Act, 2003 to allow all Hydro projects under RPO obligation and enable DISCOMs / States’ Bulk Power Procurers to participate in tenders floated by SECI for procurement of Bundled Power for reduction in Power Purchase Cost of DISCOMs. Adequate provision for piped drinking water was also requested by Mr.Pujari.
Mr.Pujari also urged for consultation with the State Governments before taking any major policy decisions that affect sub-national finances.
And he requested to stop off-budget transfers of fund for Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS).
Even if it is an off-budget resource for Government of India, it should be routed through RBI, said he.
He also requested to allow States to operate the Centrally Sponsored Schemes directly instead of opening separate scheme based bank account.
Mr.Pujari said advance indication on Central Assistance for Centrally Sponsored Schemes(CSS) and release of funds as per commitment is needed.
He said the sharing pattern in CSS for Odisha should be at par with North-Eastern and Himalayan States;
Mr.Pujari urged to gradually eliminate Cess and Surcharge on the Customs duty and Direct Taxes.
So far Multilateral Development Assistance in local currency for Externally Aided Projects being executed by the State Government, Odisha hopes that Union Finance Minister will definitely consider the suggestions and demands of the State Government favorably while formulating Union Budget.