The Opposition launched a blistering attack on the BJD government in the Assembly on Monday, citing its underutilisation of funds, inability to provide basics like drinking water despite being in power for 18 years and the innumerable mega scams like the mining scam.
Leading the charge in the debate on the Appropriation Bill, 2018, Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra reeled out figures of the plan outlay and expenditure to drive home his point that the government had not been able to utilise available funds. This government is befooling people by announcing mega schemes with huge fund allocation but it remains unspent, he alleged.
He said even figures were fudged to such an extent that the irrigation coverage in some of the districts like Cuttack and Puri exceed the total land mass of the respective districts. Similarly construction of school buildings, toilets, drinking water facilities in schools show figures that just do not match, he said while challenging anyone from the government to accompany him to schools in Bolangir.
Taking a jibe at CM Naveen Patnaik, the Leader of Opposition , said now the CM is trying to compete with PM Narendra Modi in dishing out big promises and making tall claims – “jumla”, he said. Denouncing the government’s failure to provide jobs, Mishra quipped this country has heard of pakoda’s and recently milk cows as the answer to joblessness.
State BJP president and MLA Basant Panda also criticised the state government over the state’s alleged failure in providing drinking water to people, teachers in schools, doctors in hospitals and justice to ST and SC people.
Replying to the debate, Finance Minister S B Behera said the government has focussed on agriculture, health, education, social security, skill development. He referred to the new schemes like “Ama Gaon, Ama Bikas” Sunetra, Nirmal, Nidan, Sahaya etc in the budget.
The debt burden on the state is within permissible limits and since 2013 over 47,000 posts have been filled, he said. The Assembly passed the Odisha Appropriation Bill, 2018 allowing the state government to utilise the state’s annual budget of Rs 1.22 lakh crore for the 2018-19 fiscal by voice vote.