Statesman News Service
Bhubaneswar, 7 February
Finance Minister Prasanna Acharya presented a Vote On Account of Rs 34,829.36 crore for four months from April to July amidst chaotic scenes in the Assembly today with the Opposition Congress raising slogans of alleged horse trading by the BJD in the Rajya Sabha elections and tearing copies of the tearing the vote on account papers.
The Congress members rushed to the well, shouted slogans against the government saying it had gained over two Independent MLA&’s who , over the last four years had supported the Congress, on the eve of the RS polls.
Accusing the Naveen Patnaik government of resorting to undemocratic and unethical means, the Congress members created a ruckus.
The two Independent legislators Jitu Patnaik and Braja Pradhan countered the allegations terming it as baseless. Patnaik questioned how much money the Congress had spent during the RS polls.
Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh accused the government and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik of encouraging horse trading. Less than 24 hours before the RS polls, the CM invited the two Independent members to his residence promised them of developmental activities in their constituencies, charged Singh. Braja Pradhan, a proposer of the Congress RS candidate Ranjib Biswal was inducted as a associate member of the BJD , noted Singh describing the development as a blot on democracy.The Congress has already apprised the Election Commission about it, stated Singh.
Health Minister Damodar Rout and his party colleague Amar Satpathy countered Singh and pointed out that the fourth candidate in the fray for the RS seat is an Independent candidate.
During all the hullabaloo, the Finance Minister presented the Vote on Account and the Congress staged a walk out.The Finance Minister said the focus in the budgetary exercise has been carried forward in terms of ongoing schemes in the agriculture, irrigation, infrastructure development, health, rural development etc.He said a revenue surplus of Rs 1120.13 crore is anticipated at the end of the financial year 2014-15. The revenue receipt is estimated to be Rs 62916.76 crore while the revenue expenditure would be around Rs 61796 crore.
Acharya underlined the point that capital investment has increased by 35 per cent over the previous year at Rs 10, 844.64 crore in 2014-15. Allocation for infrastructure has been increased by 15 per cent.Listing out achievements of the government, he said, the states own revenue had increased from 2420 crore in the year 2000 to Rs 23113 crore in 2012-13. the state&’s own tax revenue had risen from 1704 crore to 1503 crore during the same decade. Revenue deficit has been eliminated since 2005-06.Despite resource constraint, the state government has been able to fund several welfare schemes like Mo Kudia, Biju KBK, Gopabandhu Gramin Yojana, Mamata scheme etc, he noted.
Provisions have been made in the vote on account for all such schemes.