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On Monday, Odisha Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari presented the State Budget for 2021-22, focusing on agriculture, healthcare, industry, livelihoods and the development of heritage and tourism.

“We propose a larger budgetary outlay of Rs.1,70,000 crore for 2021-22 which includes an outlay of Rs 85,000 crore for administrative expenditure, Rs 75,000 crore for programme expenditure, Rs 3,050 crore for Disaster Response, and Rs 6,950 crore for transfer to local bodies and development authorities. Besides, we propose to invest about Rs 8,000 crore from off-budget resources like OMBADC, DMF, State PSUs etc to supplement the budgetary outlay. The capital outlay in 2021-22 is Rs 25,788 crore, which is about 4.4 per cent of GSDP,” Pujari said in his speech on the budget.

Through the National e-Vidhan Application, the 2021-22 budget was presented. The initiative would reduce the printing of about 1.5 crore paper pages and save about 2,000 large trees, Pujari said.

The total investment from budgetary and off-budget sources for the Agriculture and Allied sector would be approximately Rs 20,000 crore, Pujari said, stressing that this sector contributes approximately 21% to the Gross State Value Added as per the 2020-21 advance estimates.

The public healthcare sector saw a 19 percent increase in budget allocation, with a sum of Rs 9,164 crore. “The outbreak of the pandemic and its management affirm our belief that it provides state-of-the-art health care facilities and keeps medical professionals and trained health workers always ready to deal with such unprecedented public health emergencies,” Pujari said.

This year, with particular emphasis on MSMEs, Rs 465 crore was allocated to support the sector, a jump of 86 percent in allocation over the previous year. There was already a special Covid package of around Rs 289 crore in place to support MSMEs in the wake of the impact of the pandemic.

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A corpus fund of Rs 500 crore has been allocated to resolve distress migration from impacted blocks in the state in the midst of the pandemic to encourage timely payment of wages under MGNREGA.

With a 25 percent rise in the allocation to the tourism department, Heritage Protection and Tourism growth have got a substantial boost.

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