Bhubaneswar: Reacting to the Union Budget 2023, which was presented in the Parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the Budget has some good as well as concerning aspects.
The good aspects need to be appreciated while there are some concerns which needs to be addressed.
Good steps are, increased capital investment, support to drinking water initiatives and increasing rural housing. These will accelerate growth as well as have social impact in rural areas, Patnaik said.
“I also welcome the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s thrust on millets. ‘Odisha Millet Mission’ is a pioneering initiative in the country and I am happy that millets have been given importance in the Budget.” he said.
The focus on new world technologies like artificial intelligence, Internet of things is appreciable. The focus on primitive tribal groups is a welcome step, he reacted.
But, the reduction of funds for MGNREGS is a matter of concern. The reduction in food security budget along with reduction in procurement will hit the poor people as well as farmers, Patnaik pointed out.
About 80 thousand crores was spent on procurement in 2021-22 while only about 60 thousand crores is kept in this budget. This will cause serious problems in selling crops at Minimum Support Price, he rued.
While in 2021-22 an amount of Rupees 2 lakh crores was spent under National Food Security, in this budget only 1.37 lakh crore is kept for this purpose.
There has been a decrease or no growth in health and education sectors.
Lambasting the BJP in Odisha, the CM said the budget provision for Ayushman Bharat ‘PMJAY’ is Rs 7,200 crores for the entire country while Odisha spends almost about Rs 2,400 on BSKY in private facilities alone.
“If we include Government facilities, it would be around Rs 6000 crore annually under Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana. Health is an important priority for our State and we believe in investing and in sincere efforts,” Patnaik maintained.
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