SUPPLEMENTARY BUDGET: STRESS ON NAXAL ELIMINATION THAN ON IRRIGATION

Finance Minister Prafulla Ch. Ghadai placed before the Orissa Assembly on November 19 the first supplementary statement of expenditure for the year 2009-10 amidst chaos over the Opposition’s stress on the need for obituary honor to farmers that embraced death through suicide being forced by unending negligence of administration to agriculture.

Discernibly drafted on deficient economy, the statement addresses planned sector with Rs.1322 crores and non-planned sector with Rs.1231 crores.

Glimpses of what character it belongs to comes to gaze when one goes through the priority given to funds allocation. For an instance, one may look at lift irrigation and naxal extermination. Lift irrigation in Orissa, not only stunted in growth, but also defunct due to chronic official negligence, is a sector that needs more funds for agro-activities in the State. By sacrificing their lives, one after one, the farmers of Orissa have shown how important it is to invest more funds in lift irrigation. But the present instrument pledges only Rs. 20 crores to this sector whereas allocation of Rs.34.12 crores is drafted for extermination of Naxals even though thereby agro-productivity, which is essential for people’s sustenance, will not get any booster.

An impromptu impression that one gets from Ghadai’s presentation is that the budget is a hoodwinking project.

How the Assembly looks at it is a matter to be observed.

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