Budget 2018-19: Odisha CM gives mixed reaction
KalingaTV News Network
Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik gave a mixed reaction on the Union Budget 2018-19, tabled by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.
Addressing the media persons at the State Secretariat here, Patnaik said, “It has been our constant demand to increase the Minimum Support Price to 1.5 times of the cost of production of crops. I am happy that it looks like our demand has been accepted. However, the cost of production must take into account the actual cost incurred by the farmers on a realistic basis. I welcome the intent of the Central Government. At the same time, I am keenly waiting to see the modalities of calculation.”
Expressing his happiness at the announcement of a National Health Protection Scheme to cover 10 crore poor families, the Chief Minister said, “It would have been better that instead of a target of 10 crores, universal coverage extending to all eligible poor families was incorporated. If such a step is taken, State Government will fully support.”
However, Patnaik expressed his unhappiness about reduction of fund allocations on some central schemes and failing to address the KBK and Tribal areas of the state.
“I am disappointed that again the Central Government has missed out the focus for KBK and other Tribal areas. In fact, the allocation for SCs, STs and other vulnerable sections and social sector is grossly inadequate. I am also concerned about the low level of allocations for MGNREGA, Mid-Day Meal Scheme, National Health Mission & PMGSY,” Patnaik said.
“I am surprised by the reduction in allocation under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, while we have a commitment towards ‘Housing For All’,” he added. “There is inadequate emphasis on providing Drinking Water. Irrigation will play a major role in doubling farmers’ incomes. Marginal increase in allocation for irrigation is a serious concern.”