Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
The seventh session of Orissa Legislative Assembly commenced on the day preceding the last month of the current fiscal year with the Governor Sri M.M.Rajendran telling the House that the “State is passing through a severe fiscal crisis of unprecedented nature.”
The Eleventh Finance Commission had calculated Orissa’s debt GDP ratio to be 46 % as on 31.03.2000. This was the highest in whole of the Country when compared to that of all the other states that averaged 24.33%. But by 31.03.2001, within one year it stood at 51%, the Governor said.
Amidst protests and after a walkout led by the Leader of Opposition, the Governor gave indications of the programmes of the Government meant for overcoming the crisis. But the printed address was of the same old style that failed to indicate as to what extent the administration really thinks of the remedy.
It has been indicated that an ambitious programme for Rabi 2001-2002 was undertaken with major thrust on oil seed production. A 50% subsidy package was offered to the farmers. But the Governor could not place the quantum of achievement in this area.
The House has been informed of the Government’s proposals to establish a model Floriculture unit as well as a Tissue Culture unit to promote Floriculture in the State. But why such proposals when a Regional Plant Resources Centre has been in full operation in the Capital City with branches spread over other places of the State? Is the RPRC not functioning properly? The OMFED procures 1.02 lakhs litres of milk but sales 1.04 lakhs litres per day besides other milk products, the Governor said. Where from the excess quantity comes? An amount of Rs.62.42 crores has been provided to Gram Panchayats from the Eleventh Finance Commission grants in the outgoing fiscal year. But this amount “will be utilised” to improve living standards of the rural people, it is said .How it is that work has not started even though for that purpose a very heavy amount has been provided in the outgoing fiscal year?
From experience in the matter of execution one can chalk out a detail plan for the future .The executive wing of the State has not placed the achievement scenario of the outgoing year while preparing the speech of the Governor.
When the Leader of Opposition walked out, he was not informed of what the State has faced in execution of the plan and programmes of the outgoing year and what has it really achieved.
If the Governor’s speech is any indication, it is clear that it was prepared without any preparation, in the same old style and the session started in no dissimilar way.