Patnaik expresses concern over drastic reduction in the share in central taxes

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 1 (PTI) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Monday expressed concern over the 'drastic reduction' of the share in central taxes and centralization of revenue by introduction of cess on petrol and diesel.

He, however, welcomed certain aspects of the union budget 2021-2022.

He said the banks have to be made accountable to extend credit to women, farmers and MSMEs.

Odisha will be hit by drastic reduction of its share in central taxes by about Rs 10,840 crore for the current year and as per the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission the horizontal share will decrease from 4.629 percent to 4.528 percent for coming 5 years. This will seriously impact the state, Patnaik said.

Expressing concern over the introduction of the new provision of cess on petrol and diesel, he said 'Centralization of revenue by introduction of cess in petrol and diesel will weaken the centre-state fiscal balance.

Stating that further capital investments are required very much in Odisha both in railways and highways sectors, as planned for other states, Patnaik said There is a need to increase allocation in social assistance programmes and quantum of transfers for local bodies.

Stating that this is the first budget in the post- COVID-19 scenario and that there is lot of new challenges which this budget is expected to address, Patnaik listed some of its positive points.

According to Patnaik, the positive points in the budget are focus on capital investment to push growth, reintroduction of developmental financial institution and allocation for COVID-19 vaccine.

Besides, industry and sector specific interventions offer hope if matched with allocation, bold decision to expand fiscal deficit to provide growth impetus and a medium and long term vision for Self reliant India.

I am happy to note that the union budget has turned Green with a digital budget like what Odisha has been following from last year, the chief minister said adding that he is delighted to see 'Mission Shakti' appear in the Union Budget focusing on women empowerment.

After Odishas 'Mamata scheme' was adopted by the Centre from 2011-2012, the replication of Odishas flagship women empowerment initiative 'Mission Shakti' clearly shows that the state sets a bench mark for the nation, he claimed.

Patnaik said he is hopeful that after Mamata and Mission Sakti the next logical step towards women empowerment will be reservation for women in Lok Sabha and the state assemblies.

We will continue to fight for this, the chief minister said.

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on the other hand claimed that the central budget will be beneficial for Odisha.

'The decision will give fillip to strengthen the agricultural infrastructure by imposing an agriculture infrastructure and development cess of Rs 2.5 per litre on petrol and Rs 4 per liter of diesel, Pradhan, the union petroleum minister said.

Union Minister of State for MSME, Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Pratap Chandra Sarangi said that Paradip will get one of the five mega fishing jetties announced in the union budget.

OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik, however, criticized the Union Budget. This budget is another blow to the countrys economy and society. All they (BJP) have done is to find ways to fill the coffers of their rich friends. PTI AAM KK KK