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Odisha CM concerned over reduction of share in Central taxes

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 1 (IANS) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday expressed concern on drastic reduction of share in Central taxes and centralisation of revenue by introduction of cess on petrol and diesel.

The Chief Minister, however, welcomed several positive points in the Union Budget 2021-22 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

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

He said centralisation of revenue by introduction of cess in petrol and diesel will weaken the centre-state fiscal balance.

Further capital investments very much required in Odisha both in railways and highways sectors as it has been planned for other states, he added.

The Chief Minister said there is a need to increase allocation in social assistance programmes and quantum of transfers for local bodies and banks have to be made accountable to extend credit to women, farmers and MSMEs.

“I am also delighted to see Mission Shakti appear in union budget focusing on women’s empowerment. After Odisha’s Mamata scheme was adopted by Union Government from 2011-2012, replication of our state’s flagship women’s empowerment initiative Mission Shakti clearly shows that Odisha sets benchmark for the nation,” he said.

The Chief Minister, however, appreciated the budget’s focus on capital investment to push growth, reintroduction of developmental financial institution, allocation for COVID vaccine, bold decision to expand fiscal deficit to provide growth impetus and a medium and long term vision for ‘self-reliant India’.

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said Odisha will be benefited immensely in the union budget.

The budget has taken appropriate measures to revive consumption and investment, boost manufacturing, strengthen infrastructure, encourage MSMEs and give a thrust to growth, employment and new opportunities, said Pradhan in a statement.

On the other hand, Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Niranjan Patnaik said the budget was disappointing considering the prevailing Covid-19 situation.

“While lakhs of people have lost their jobs during the pandemic, there is no provision for the growth of poor and middle-class people. Besides, there was no provision of taxation on the super-rich,” said the PCC president.

“There is so much Prime Minister could have done in the Budget 2021. This missed opportunity will be another blow to our economy and society. All they have done is to find ways to fill the coffers of their rich friends,” he added.

–IANS

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