Bhubaneswar: Odisha Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari in his budget speech Tuesday announced hiking of the MLA local area development (MLALAD) funds three times from the existing corpus to give an impetus to the growth of areas represented by the legislators.
According to the statement made by the minister, the MLAs now will be entitled for Rs 3 crore each a year to spend on their constituency to sort out the woes of the area but with certain conditions. Some portions of the funds have been reserved for road development works.
Pujari in his speech said, “Taking into consideration the request from people to take immediate action on some crucial areas of development, our beloved Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has decided to triple the MLALAD to Rs 3 crore per year. Out of this Rs 2 crore can be utilized for general development works,”
He also added, “The left out Rs 50 lakh each would be utilized for roads and development works of college education. I propose Rs 441 crore under MLALAD and Rs 80 crore for Western Odisha Development Council (WODC),”
On the other side, all the present MLAs were also given new set of tablets just before the budget speech wrapped in hardcover. The government claimed that this was an exercise towards moving towards paperless budget proceedings. A pen drive with budget documents was also given for quick access to the budget documents.
“As a green initiative, we are almost doing away with printing of budget documents through the introduction of ‘e-Budget’. I am grateful to the Speaker, Leader of Opposition and other members of House for their support to facilitate this initiative. We have reduced printing of about 75 lakh pages of paper which saved about 1000 large trees,” the Finance Minister said.
The government also made available all budget documents on a mobile app called ‘Odisha Budget’ which comprised budget speech, revenue collections and spending, bargraphs and others.