Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has given a mixed reaction to the Union Budget 2020-21 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1. Patnaik has welcomed a few initiatives while raising concerns over other announcements.
"We welcome the following initiatives - Krishi Rail and Krishi Udan for a seamless national cold supply chain, PM-KUSUM to cover 20 lakh farmers for solar pumps, Removal of dividend distribution tax and introduction of the concessional component tax. Odisha had requested for extension of concessional tax rates to cooperatives in line with corporate tax cuts. We welcome the announcement of concessional tax rates for cooperatives," Patnaik said.
"Almost all allocations under the centrally sponsored schemes have been stagnant. The divisible pool of central taxes has shrunk by almost 59,000 crores. This will reduce Odisha's share by about Rs 3,000 crores. None of the archaeological sites of Odisha have been included in the iconic sites to be developed," the Chief Minister said.
"Also, Odisha deserves a National Tribal Museum. Drinking water is a national priority. Allocation of 11,500 crores nationally against an approved plan of 3.6 lakh crores is too little. In fact, Odisha spends about 3,600 crores in drinking water," he added.
Patnaik also expressed concerns over the slump in the Sensex by almost 1000 points. "Sensex is an indicator of investor confidence. The drop of almost 1,000 points today shows that there is a huge scope to take a number of measures. Investor confidence is important for fresh investments to come in, to spur growth which is the biggest challenge now. This will have a huge impact on job creation and livelihood options for our youth," Patnaik added.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget on February 1. This year's Budget assumes tremendous significance as the Indian economy is facing multiple challenges such as a rise in inflation, unemployment, farmer distress and a dip in GDP growth. While beginning her Budget speech, the Finance Minister had said that the focus would be on increasing incomes and elevating purchasing power. She had outlined its three themes - 'Aspirational India, Economic Development for all, and that India shall be a caring society.'
(With ANI inputs)