Odisha will be hit by reduction in Central taxes, says Naveen Patnaik

The Chief Minister, however, finds several positives from the national perspective.

Odisha would be hit by the “drastic” reduction in its share in Central taxes, said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in his reaction to the 15th Finance Commission recommendations on Monday.

Mr. Patnaik, however, found many positives from the national perspective in the first Budget in the post-COVID-19 scenario.

“Odisha would be hit by a drastic reduction of its share in Central taxes, by about ₹10,840 crore for the current year, and as per the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission, the [State’s] horizontal share will decrease from 4.629% to 4.528% for the coming five years. This will seriously impact the State,” Mr. Patnaik said.

He pointed out that capital investments were very much required in Odisha, both in the Railways and highways sectors, as they had been planned for other States. “There is a need to increase allocation in social assistance programmes and quantum of transfers for local bodies,” said Mr. Patnaik.

He said the centralisation of revenue by the introduction of cess in petrol and diesel would weaken the Centre-State fiscal balance.

Mr. Patnaik expressed satisfaction over the focus on women’s empowerment as ‘Mission Shakti’ was mentioned in the Union Budget.

“After Odisha’s Mamata Scheme was adopted by Union Government from 2011-2012, the replication of our State’s flagship women empowerment initiative, Mission Shakti, clearly shows that Odisha sets the benchmark for the nation. I am hopeful that after [the] Mamata [Scheme] and Mission Shakti, the next logical step towards women’s empowerment would be reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies,” he said.

Several positive points listed by him included the focus on capital investment for pushing growth; reintroduction of developmental financial institution; allocation for COVID-19 vaccination; industry and sector-specific interventions; bold decisions to expand fiscal deficit to provide growth impetus; and a medium and long-term vision for “self-reliant India”.

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