By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, July 5, 2019: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is not happy over the shrink in outlays for Mahatma Gandhi National Employment Guarantee (MGNREGA), core schemes for SC, ST & other vulnerable groups and reduced allocation for pension under National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP).

Patnaik, however, hailed the enhanced allocation for railway projects but rued the diminished outlay for national highways, stating the cutback in funds will adversely affect inter-state connectivity.

Though the Union Budget attaches thrust on rural connectivity through Pradhan Mantri Grameen Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), housing through Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana and Swachh Bharat Mission, the programmes need to be backed by allocation of funds, he suggested.

“I wish the Union government would have enhanced the quantum of assistance to farmers under PM KISAN at par with our KALIA scheme. Landless labourers and share croppers should also have been included in its fold”, Patnaik said.

Moreover, the imposition of cess and surcharges by the Central government remain outside the divisible pool and squeeze the resources for states, he felt.

“The Union Budget for 2019-20 speaks of medium to long-term vision of the government which is good for the country. However, these need to be backed by commensurate budgetary allocations. I welcome higher allocation for sectors like health, education, skill development, drinking water, livelihood mission and women & child development”, he added.

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