Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the Interim Budget for 2019-20 was deeply disappointing in some aspects, rating the pre-election Budget 2.5 on a scale of 10.
Though Patnaik hailed the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana (PM-KISAN), he felt the budgetary announcement did not better his government's KALIA, or Krushak Assistance for Livelihoods & Income Augmentation, scheme.
"I welcome the direct benefit transfer proposed for small and marginal farmers on lines of our KALIA scheme. However, it would have benefited the farmers more if the quantum of assistance was equal or more than our KALIA scheme, which is Rs 10,000 per year. Also, there is nothing for landless poor, sharecroppers and farmers in distress," the chief minister said in his reaction to the Interim Budget.
Patnaik also expressed his disappointment with the National Social Security Scheme, pointing out that components such as old age pension and other pensions have not been revised at all. "The state is covering 4.8 million beneficiaries with Rs 500 per month, while the Centre is giving Rs 200 per month for two million beneficiaries only," he said.
He faulted the Budget over its inadequate allocation towards Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes welfare, in infrastructure and education. Patnaik also pointed to the inadequate allocation, which was lower than the revised estimates for FY19, under the Mahatma Gandhi National Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) for FY20, stating that this would adversely impact timely wage payments.
"The Budget allocations on rural connectivity, rural housing and drinking water have been reduced or have remained at the previous level. This is not encouraging," he added.
On the devolution of central resources, Patnaik said that Odisha could lose out based on the actual receipts for 2015-18, revised estimates for 2018-19 and Budget estimates for 2019-20. "The 14th Finance Commission recommended a total transfer of Rs 1.84 trillion during the award period 2015-20. Against this, the state is going to receive Rs 1.57 trillion. Thus, the state will be hit with a shortfall of Rs 26,342 crore," he said.