While Odisha Finnace Minister Prasanna Acharya was lauded by his partymen and political analysts for preparing the budget for the year 2013-14, the state BJP has termed the proposals as lackluster.
Reacting to the detailed Budget presented at the House on Tuesday, Ashok Sahu, the BJP Vice-President and the Chief Spokesman of the Party, said it is just the ‘Old Wine in new Bottle’ and there is no novelty. He said that government is spending much more than it collects as revenue.
The budget can be seen as an attempt to influence the citizens ahead of 2014 polls. On Re. 1 rice scheme announced by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Sahu said that the government will spend Rs. 1312 Crore for purchase of one rupee rice. The proposal is an election stunt that the CM has to keep as promised, he said.
The Biju Kandhamal and Gajapati development schemes have not received adequate attention and Rs. 28.5 Crore for these two districts is too meager an amount, Sahu pointed out while criticising the budget.
He said that the basic needs of the villagers like rural roads, drinking water, and electricity schemes are not properly addressed in the proposals. Even the allotment for the Paschim Odisha Vikash Parishad is also inadequate. While money allotted in the last budget was unspent under irrigation projects, it was worthless to allot more than Rs 1750 crore under that head, he said.
Commenting on proposal to give free mobile phones to 20,000 farmers under Digital Mandi Scheme, Sahu said it will be another corruption. He said the proposal for the farmers is an eye wash, when there is no provision for ‘Bonus’ for distress sale. The government presented a separate Agriculture budget in the House, but a large number of farmers have not received the insurance for failure of crops during last financial year, he said.