By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, July 22, 2020: The Odisha government on Wednesday decided to curtail new expenditures in non-priority sectors in view of the disaster wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Council of Ministers on Wednesday met here and decided to have relook of the 2020-21 budget allocations in the present situation and set new priorities, chief secretary, Asit Tripathy told media persons after the meeting.

Tripathy said that the government is expecting a reduction in central funds and hence will have to focus on market borrowing. However, market borrowings will be done within enhanced FRBM limits. “There will be no expensive market borrowings as funds are cheaply available under CAMPA, OMBDAC… Rs 1,000 cr has already been borrowed from these sources,” he informed.

The chief secretary said that April-May had seen 70 per cent less revenue generation, “The deficit has now come down to 20 per cent. Mining auction has helped to generate resources and Odisha is in a better position to handle the crisis,” he said.

The government has given saving lives as the top priority and accordingly has decided to fully fund medical expenditures and that for equipment, implement social security measures uninterrupted, continue the ongoing work, accelerate the digital way of working and prioritize the livelihood interventions

He further informed that plasma therapy will begin at IGH, Rourkela soon. The service is currently being offered in SUM and KIMS hospitals in Bhubaneswar, Ashwini Hospital in Cuttack and Tata COVID hospital in Sitalapali in Ganjam district.

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