Bhubaneswar, February 1: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday welcomed certain positive points in the Union Budget-2021 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, but expressed concern on drastic reduction of share in Central taxes by the 15th Finance Commission and centralisation of revenue by introduction of cess on petrol and diesel which will weaken Centre-State fiscal balance
“This is the first budget in post COVID-19 scenario and there are lot of new challenges which this budget is expected to address. The positive points in Budget 2021 include: Focus on capital investment to push growth, reintroduction of developmental financial institution,” said the Chief Minister in his Budget reaction.
Other positive points include, allocation for COVID-19 vaccine, bold decision to expand fiscal deficit to provide growth impetus, a medium and long term vision for ‘Self-reliant India’ and industry and sector specific interventions offer hope, if matched with allocation, said Patnaik.
“Odisha would be hit by drastic reduction of share in central taxes by about Rs 10,840 crore for the current year and as per the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission, the horizontal share will decrease from 4.629 per cent to 4.528 per cent for coming five years, which will seriously impact Odisha,” added the CM.
Further capital investments is very much required in Odisha both in railways and highways sectors, as it has been planned for other states. There is a need to increase allocation in social assistance programmes and quantum of transfer of funds for local bodies, he added.
“Centralisation of revenue by introduction of cess in petrol and diesel will weaken the centre-state fiscal balance. Banks have to be made accountable to extend credit to women, farmers and MSMEs,” he further said.
The CM said that he was delighted to see Mission Shakti Odisha appear in Budget 2021 focusing on women empowerment.
“After Odisha’s Mamata scheme was adopted by Govt of India from 2011-2012, replication of our flagship women empowerment initiative, Mission Shakti clearly shows that Odisha sets benchmark for the nation. I am hopeful that after Mamata Scheme and Mission Shakti, the next logical step towards women empowerment would be reservation for women in Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies. We will continue to fight for this,” added the CM.