Bhubaneswar: Odisha Governor Murlidhar Chandrakant Bhandre all praise State Government over inclusive higher economic growth. In his inaugural address in the Budget session of the State Assembly, Governor Murlidhar Chandrakant Bhandre unfolded a bigger plan size for the 12th Plan period 2012-17 with a projected outlay of Rs 1 lakh crore.
Besides, an outlay of Rs 17,000 crore has been proposed for the State’s Annual Plan for 2012-13 with an increase of Rs 2,000 crore over the last financial year.
Bhandare was all praise for the State Government for continuously striving to achieve a sustainable and inclusive higher economic growth, an accelerated overall development, reduction of regional, social and gender disparities and a faster rate of poverty reduction. Stating that the State’s 11th Five Year Plan 2007-12 envisaged a projected outlay of Rs 32,225 crore, he said the overall expenditure during the period is expected to far exceeded the original plan outlay and hoped that the State’s growth rate in real terms would be 8.22 per cent per annum during the plan period. He pointed out the fiscal reforms, including expenditure rationalisation and revenue generation measures, being undertaken by the Government have yielded results in overcoming the acute financial crisis in the past. The reform measures resulted in a perceptible improvement in the fiscal condition of the State.
The Governor said with the improvement in fiscal situation, the State Government has not resorted to open market borrowing since 2005-06, as a result of which the Government has achieved debt sustainability parameters recommended by successive Finance Commissions.
With the substantial strides made on the management of public debt, he said, the State has been able to reduce the net debt stock from 55.92 per cent of GSDP in 2001-02 to 21 per cent of GSDP in 2010-11, thereby achieving the desired level of 25 per cent as recommended by the 13th Finance Commission.
Bhandare said that with improved fiscal condition, the focus of the Government is now on efficiency and quality of public spending.
The emphasis is on outcome and efficiency of expenditure rather than on simply making the Budget provisions. He said that Government is implementing many State-funded welfare schemes like BijuKBK Yojana, Gopabandu Grameen Yojana, Biuju Gram Jyoti Yojana, Biju Sharanchal Vidyutikarn Yojana, rice at the rate of Rs 2 per kg, Madhubabu Pension Yojana, MAMATA and Biju Setu Yojana.
He further highlighted that the Biju Kandhamal ‘O’ Gajapati Yojana is being implemented under the State Plan out of the State’s own resources and sums of Rs 18 crore and Rs 10 crore have been sanctioned for Kandhamal and Gajapati districts, respectively.
Stating that State Government recognises the important role of the private sector in development of physical and social infrastructures, he said that as part of the public-private partnership (PPP) policy to encourage the private sector initiative in infrastructure development, a new scheme, State Viability Gap Fund, has been launched with a view to providing critical support to the projects in the unviable sectors.
Since agriculture continues to be the backbone of the State’s economy, the Governor said the State Government has been giving priority to development of agriculture sector through a number of proactive measures and expansion of irrigation facilities. As seed is the most important input for boosting productivity of crops, it has been programmed to cover about 40,760 hectares of paddy and non-paddy crops under a seed replacement scheme during the year 2012-13. Besides, a programme has been drawn up to increase fertiliser consumption to 90 kg per hectare during 2012-13. Similarly, to boost horticultural crops, it has been targeted to cover 17,000 hectares under fruit crops plantation.
The Governor said due emphasis has been given on judicious utilisation of water for crop production though promotion of a micro irrigation system in 4,564 hectares under drip and sprinkle irrigation. Construction activities of major and medium irrigation projects have also been scaled up to complete the ongoing projects in 12th Plan period.