Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday welcomed the tax benefits, DBT proposal for small and marginal farmers on lines of KALIA scheme as outlined in the Interim Budget-2019 which Finance Minister Piyush Goyal presented the budget in the Parliament today. However, Patnaik said that there is nothing for landless poor, sharecroppers and farmers in distress.
Here is what the Odisha CM said while speaking to the newsmen:
- I welcome the Tax benefit planned for middle and lower income groups.
- I also welcome the direct benefit transfer proposed for small and marginal farmers on the lines of our KALIA Scheme. However, it would have benefitted the farmers more if the quantum of assistance is equal or more than our KALIA Scheme i.e Rupees ten thousand per year. Also, there is nothing for landless poor, sharecroppers and farmers in the distress.
- Some initiatives taken towards the MSME sector is encouraging. However, this does not suffice to meet the needs of employment generation in the county.
- I am deeply disappointed with the National Social Security i.e Old Age Pension and other Pensions have not been revised at all. The state is covering while Centre is giving Rs 200 per month for 20 lakh beneficiaries only.
- I am also disappointed with the allocation for ST-SC welfare both in infrastructure and education. We have been requesting to restore the Scholarship Funds for SC students which has not been done.
- The allocation for MGNREGS is lower than the allocation in the revised estimate. This will adversely affect timely wage payments.
- The Budget allocation on rural connectivity, rural housing and drinking water have been reduced or have remained at the previous level. This is not encouraging.
- Fourteenth Finance Commission recommended total transfer or Rupees One Lakh Eighty Thousand Seventy crores during the award period (2015-20). However, based on the actual receipts for 2015-18, Revised Estimates for 2018-19 and Budget Estimates for 2019-20, the state is going to receive only Rupees One Lakh Fifty-Seven Thousand Eight Hundred Twenty Eight crores.
- Thus, the State will be hit with a shortfall of Rupees Twenty Six Thousand Three Hundred Forty-Two crores.