Odisha Budget may be people-friendly, bigger

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Bhubaneswar: The State Government would present a people-friendly and bigger Budget for 2018-19, the last Budget before the forthcoming elections.

It is expected reviewing the pre-Budget deliberation was held here on Wednesday, which the Finance Minister, former Finance Ministers, officials and financial experts attended.

The Budget would lay emphasis on agriculture, social security and infrastructure development, said Finance Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera “A few people may criticise that the Government would introduce a Budget keeping the Assembly elections in view.

But the Government has been presenting people-friendly Budget every year. In all previous Budgets, social sector, farmers and welfare activities have been given importance,” said Behera. “During the discussions, a common view emerged that fiscal management of the State is overall good.

The economic condition of the State has improved. So, the Budget outlay is expected to grow. Now, all parameters related to fiscal responsibility and Budget management are being met properly,” Finance Secretary Tuhin Kant Pandey said.

Former Finance Minister Prafulla Chandra Ghadai stressed on filling up of vacancies in officers’ posts to ensure proper implementation of welfare schemes.

“We expect a good Budget from the Government with emphasis on poverty eradication, healthcare, sanitation, agriculture, education and infrastructure development this year.

The Government should fill up the vacancies in order to implement all welfare schemes properly,” Ghadai said. However, sources said the closures of many mines, the demand in hike of salary from various employees and other factors are going to be a major challenge for the Government.

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