Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Budget 2018-19 of Rs 1.20 lakh crore exhibits the commitment of chief minister Naveen Patnaik towards his promises to the people.
The last full-fledged budget before the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections was expected to be full of new schemes, subsidies and freebies to woo the voters. But, belying the expectation, the budget emphasises on fulfillment of promises made and completion of works started earlier.
The only freebies the government has doled out in the budget is supply of four LED bulbs to each of the electrified houses belonging to the poor people.
Strictly adhering to the fiscal discipline, the government pegged the fiscal deficit at 3.5% of GSDP . The debt/ GSDP ratio is estimated at 20.73% at the end of 2018-19 which is below the permissible limit of 25%.
Presenting an investment, growth, development and welfare oriented Budget , the state finance minister Sashi Bhusan Behera said that for the first time the outlay of Rs 62,000 crore for programme expenditure is more than half of the total budget size. The Budget focused on agriculture ( Rs 16,765 crore), health(Rs 6, 160 crore) education & skill development(Rs 19,678 crore) and food security( Rs 902 crore) .
Presenting the agricultural budget separately, Behera said that besides the Rs 16,765 crore provided in the budget, Rs 8,000 crore would be invested through extra budgetary resources to make timely payment to farmers towards paddy procurement.