Bhubaneswar, February 8: Odisha Finance Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha on Thursday presented an Interim Budget of Rs 1.18 lakh crore for the first four months of the 2024-25 fiscal in the State Assembly in view of the upcoming elections to the Lok Sabha and Odisha Assembly.
The Finance Minister said that Odisha has now become more than a 100 billion dollar economy.
The State Government estimated that the total budget outlay for the next financial year will be Rs 2.55 lakh crore, which is about 11 per cent more than the annual budget of 2023-24.
Keeping in view the requirement of funds for expenditure on payment of salary, pension, interest payment, repayment of principal, relief, old age pension, scholarship of ST & SC students and other on-going scheme and programmes, a sum of Rs 1,18,000 crore is proposed in the vote-on-account, the Minister said in the House.
The State Government has presented a vote-on-account instead of a full budget in keeping in view the simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and State Assembly.
“Of the total Rs 2.55 crore provision, Rs 1,03,500 crore has been allocated for administrative expenditure, Rs 1.40 lakh crore for programme expenditure, Rs 3,900 crore for disaster management and Rs 7,600 crore for transfer to Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies,” said Finance Minister Arukha.
The Government has earmarked more than Rs 4,000 crore to implement various initiatives under the Ama Odisha Nabin Odisha (Our Odisha, New Odisha) scheme.
Since 2015-16, the State has registered an average growth of 7.25 per cent, which is about 1 per cent higher than the average growth of the national economy, Arukha said.
According to advance estimates for 2023-24, it is projected that the State economy will grow at 8.5 per cent compared to 7.3 per cent of the country. Thus, Odisha continues to be a bright spot in the whole country, he pointed out.
Budgetary outlay of Rs 28,944 crore has been allocated for agriculture and allied sector, which is 16.6 per cent higher than the outlay of the previous year.
The finance minister proposed to allocate Rs 3,980 crore for around 53 lakh beneficiaries under social security pension schemes.
The State Government has set a target for transformation of 1,858 healthcare facilities within a period of five years with an investment of Rs.3,389 crore. An outlay of Rs 1,314 crore has been proposed for the purpose in the budget for 2024-25, he said.
Similarly, an outlay of Rs 5,450 crore has been proposed for the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) scheme in the budget while Rs 529 crore allocated for “Mission Shakti Scooter Yojana and Rs 1,449 crore for disbursement of scholarship to 14.86 lakh ST, SC and OBC students, Rs 1,050 crore for the skill development sector
An outlay of Rs 21,004 crore has been allocated for construction of logistics like roads, bridges, airports and railways including Rs 1,000 crore for metro rail, which is 25 per cent higher than last year, the Minister said.
On the fiscal status of the State, the Minister said the debt stock at the end of 2024-25 is projected to remain at 13.1 per cent of GSDP against the FRBM (Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2003) mandated level of 25 per cent.