On Friday, Odisha government presented its annual budget where it is allocating 20% more funds to the field of agriculture as compared to last year. A budget of an amount of Rs. 94052.65 crore was presented by the State Finance Minister Pradip Amat in the Assembly. He also mentioned that agriculture is still the focus of Odisha government and that they have allocated an amount of Rs. 13,181.89 crore for the sector of agriculture. This amount is more than 20.89% in outlay as compared to the last year. This year, the outlay for the field of agriculture is around 14.02% of the total outlay. Their focus is also on infrastructure growth and welfare schemes. In the budget, they also plan to raise tax on liquor, petrol and diesel.
“The total expenditure proposed in the budget estimates for 2014-15 including debt repayment is Rs. 80,139.58 crore,” said the finance minister. The non-plan expenditure has been set as Rs. 40,711.01 crore with an increase of 7.30% over the budget estimate.
Also, there was an emphasis on improving the quality of the education, the government raised the budget from Rs. 7142.83 crore in 2013-14 to Rs. 9327.12 crore in 2014-15. He said, “This is the largest allocation among all the departments which constitutes about 12% of the total budget allocation.”
Going on the lines of budget presented in Bihar, Odisha government has allocated Rs. 2199.41 crore to the higher education department so that they are able to provide an educated and productive workforce. Odisha government has allotted Rs 615 crore to set up five new medical colleges, apart form other Rs 765 crore to create set up for health care institutions.
Amat said, “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.”
The government is also trying to provide health benefits to all the people of the state, he said that they are allocating a good amount to health and family welfare departments. They have enhanced the amount Rs. 3,897.74 crore which is under both the plan and the non plan sectors. The amount is raised by 65% in comparison to last year.