Party welcomes Health Protection Scheme, Eklavya Schools for STs
New Delhi: The Biju Janata Dal (BJP) Thursday welcomed some of the announcements of the Union Budget as presented by the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. However, it expressed its displeasure over the mention of 115 backward districts and terming DBT as a success.
Senior BJD leader Bhartuhari Mahtab told Orissa POST, “We take strong objection to the mention of aspiring districts in the Budget. It was also referred in the President’s speech. Orissa has already protested against this and it also refrained from signing the MoU in this regard.” Under this scheme, the Centre had termed the word ‘aspiring’ for backward districts.
He also said, “The entire system is unconstitutional, as it infringes upon the rights of the federal system as prabhari officers go directly to these districts, while the state apparatus is elected for the developmental activities there for inclusive growth.”
When asked about his views on terming Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) as a ‘success’ in the Budget, Mahtab said, “Actually, DBT has been a failure. Unlike the DBT, our system of cash disbursement of pensions is more transparent as it is given before the community and in villages. Leave remote areas, places around Cuttack had been still grappling with paucity of financial inclusion.”
The party had been fighting on the issue of paying pensions in cash against Centre’s stand on DBT. Mahtab, however, welcomed the scheme of extended benefit under the Health Protection Scheme and the hike in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) by 1.5 times. The party had been demanding a hike in the MSP of crops since long.
However the party said that the implementation of the same would be crucial. BJD Rajya Sabha MP Pratap Keshari Deb said, “We would be happy if the Union government implements the hike of 1.5 times of the MSP successfully on the ground as announced in the Union budget. It is really beneficial for the farmers involved in the agriculture sector.”
Stamps, coins on Paika rebellion still a dream
New Delhi: The Union government, which in its last Budget had announced commemoration of the valiant uprising of soldiers led by Buxi Jagabandhu in the Paika rebellion, is still considering the proposal of releasing stamps/coins on the historic movement.
In the last Budget, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said, “200 years ago in 1817, a valiant uprising of soldiers led by Buxi Jagabandhu took place in Khordha of Orissa. We will commemorate the same appropriately.”
However, the report on the level of the Centre’s preparedness on the same tells a different story. The report on implementation of the last Budget announcement said, “NIC has been constituted. Proposals received from two NGOs for cultural activities have been approved for financial assistance. Proposal for release of a commemorative stamp and coin is under consideration.”
On the other hand, last year, the government had announced setting up of Strategic Crude Oil Reserves at Chandikhole in Orissa. The implementation report of the announcement claims, “Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas has finalised the proposal for setting up Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPR) facilities at Chandikhole (4 MMT) and Padur (2.5 MMT) at an estimated cost of `11,035 crore. The proposal has been sent to the Ministry of Finance.”