Odisha government to present regular budget after union budget

Bhubaneswar, Feb 1 (IANS) The Odisha government will seek permission for funds through a vote-on-account for two months during the assembly session beginning on March 15 and present the state budget for 2016-17 only after the passage of the union budget in parliament.

A decision to this effect was taken at an all-party meeting here on Monday chaired by assembly Speaker Niranjan Pujari.

“We have decided to bring the regular budget only after the union budget is approved in parliament. Since the revenue-sharing pattern has been changed after NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog came into effect, we can prepare the budget after assessing the state’s share in the central budget,” Finance Minister Pradeep Amat told reporters here.

The minister said since the Centre had ended eight of its schemes and curtailed funds for 33 other schemes, the Odisha government will be able to allocate funds for several schemes only after knowing the central budget provisions.

Leader of opposition Narasingh Mishra said an appropriation bill for two months will be passed in the assembly before March 31.

A regular budget for the remaining 10 months will be sent to the standing committee and its comments submitted by April 25. “Changes are likely to be made in the budget draft after getting comments from the standing committee,” Mishra said.

Finance secretary and development commissioner R. Balakrishnan made a presentation about the budget before the all-party meeting that was attended by several senior leaders.

Opposition chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati said the meeting decided to commence the budget session from March 15.

Notably, the government has already concluded pre-budget consultations and invited suggestions from the public for the budget.

As many as 1,666 suggestions were received from the public and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had asked the finance department to look into them.

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