Focusing on infrastructure growth and welfare schemes, Odisha government today presented a Rs 80,139.58 crore budget for 2014-15 with plans to raise taxes on liquor, petrol and diesel to augment revenues.
“The total expenditure proposed in the budget estimates for 2014-15 including debt repayment is Rs 80,139.58 crore,” Finance Minister Pradip Kumar Amat said in his maiden budget speech in the Assembly.
Non-plan expenditure was estimated at Rs 40,711.01 crore with an increase of 7.30 per cent over the budget estimates of 2013-14, Amat said.
Similarly, the state plan, central plan and centrally sponsored plan expenditure were estimated at Rs 38,810 crore, Rs 609.42 crore and Rs 9.15 crore respectively, totalling Rs 39,428.57 crore, showing an increase of about Rs 72 per cent over the revised outlay for last year, he said.
Stating that the budgeted expenditure would be financed through estimated revenue receipts of Rs 67,146.96 crore, recovery of loans and advances of Rs 240.29 crore and borrowing and other receipts of Rs 12,752.32 crore, Amat said revenue surplus would be of the order of Rs 4265.55 crore.
To boost farm sector, the finance minister presented a separate budget for agriculture raising the outlay for the department under plan and non-plan areas from Rs 1823.77 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 2727.99 crore in 2014-15, registering an increase of about 50 per cent.
The non-plan outlay for agriculture was enhanced from Rs 426.53 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 493.07 crore this year, he said adding the plan outlay which was Rs 1397.24 crore in 2013-14 has been enhanced to Rs 2234.92 crore keeping in view the government’s commitment to farmers.
The government sought to intensify and consolidate the efforts already made in areas of irrigation, provision of quality seed and planting material, insurance and extension activities in the agriculture sector to accelerate the pace of socio-economic development of farmers, Amat said.
Listing steps to augment revenues, the finance minister said the budget proposed to raise the tax rate on liquor from 20 per cent to 25 per cent and also to restore tax rate on petrol and diesel from 18 per cent to 20 per cent.
Stating that hike of tax on foreign liquor is based on the premise of ability to pay, he said the empowered committee of state finance ministers have recommended minimum tax rate of 20 per cent on petrol and diesel.
“Further, the price of petrol and diesel in our state being lower than the prevailing price in most other states the increase in the rate will bring parity with neighbouring states. These two measures will fetch additional revenue of Rs 375.00 crore per annum,” Amat said.
Maintaining that the budget emphasises implementation of policy measures indicated in our manifesto, he said substantially higher allocations have been made for all departments for implementation of various development and welfare oriented schemes.
Noting that government is striving to provide health security for all, Amat said allocation for health and family welfare department was substantially enhanced to Rs 3,897.74 crore under both plan and non-plan sectors, which is about 65 per cent more than last year.
There would be a mechanism for universal free distribution of medicine to people with help of Odisha State Medical Services Corporation which will handle procurement of drugs in an efficient and cost effective manner, Amat said.
While Rs 5 crore is provided towards paid up capital of the corporation, Rs 202.56 crore is allocated for purchase of drugs, he said adding Rs 1,093.49 crore is proposed to be provided for various components of national health mission (NHM) out of which the state share comes to Rs 273.37 crore.
Focussing on improving quality of education, the budget raised allocation in school and mass education department from Rs 7142.83 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 9327.12 crore in 2014-15.
“This is the largest allocation among all departments which constitutes about 12 per cent of the total budget allocation,” the Finance minister said.
Similarly, Rs 2199.41 crore was provided for higher education department in order to provide an educated and productive work force, he said.
Describing Rural development and empowerment of panchayati raj institutions as twin objectives in Panchayati Raj Department, Amat said the budget proposes to provide Rs 6824.22 crore both under plan and non-plan areas for the department as against previous year’s Rs 3218.98 crore, which is more than 100 per cent increase in allocation.
“Home is a dream for everyone and we stand committed to our promise made in the election manifesto to ensure that every household in the state have a pucca house,” he said.
All kuccha houses in the state would be provided assistance for conversion to pucca houses in a phased manner, he said adding the government proposes to construct about 2,35,000 pucca houses during 2014-15 under various schemes.
For all-round development of Scheduled Tribes, Scheduled Castes, OBCs and minorities, the allocation of the department has been enhanced to Rs 2,454.30 crore from Rs 1,954.03 crore with an increase of over 20 per cent, he said.
Stating that the government was concerned with holistic development of women and children, mainly women empowerment, Amat said Rs 4,664.66 crore has been provided for Women and Child Development Department which is about 39 per cent higher than last year’s provision.
On infrastructure development, he said Rs 3,736.42 crore is provided as against a total provision of Rs 2,531.68 crore made in 2013-14. Improvement of 948 km of roads and construction of 15 number of bridges had been targeted during 2014-15, he said.
For Housing and Urban development department, Rs 3,031.65 crore has been provided as against Rs 2,385.46 crore allocated last year, he said.
A total provision of Rs 4677.44 crore has been made for Rural development department as against Rs 2032.57 crore provided in 2013-14, Amat said.
Provision of Rs 3167.87 crore has been made for Home Department, which is significantly higher than previous year’s provision of Rs 2713.32 crore, he said adding Rs 119.60 crore is provided under the national scheme for modernisation of police and other forces.
Adequate focus is given for making the Nabakalebar of Lord Jagannath in 2015, the minister said adding Rs 71.70 crore has been provided for improvement of roads for the festival, while Rs 73.70 crore is provided for construction and renovation of bus stand at Malatipatpur.
In order to provide safe, reliable and quality power to Puri and neighbouring places of tourist and religious importance, Energy department has taken up projects costing over Rs 300 crore, Amat said adding provision of Rs 130.95 crore is made for the purpose in the budget.