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BJD Counters Opposition’s Objections To Utilising Contingency Fund For ‘KALIA’

22 January 2019

Mohammed Ishtiyaque

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Bhubaneswar: Ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) today pooh-poohed all the allegations levelled by the Opposition parties and their objections to utilizing Rs 734.66 crore from the Odisha Contingency Fund (OCF) and justified the utilization in implementing the recently launched ‘KALIA’ (Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation) scheme of the State Government for the overall benefits of the farmers.

Convening a press meet, BJD spokesperson and party’s IT Wing chief Dr Amar Patnaik argued that Odisha Government has taken the bold step of utilizing Rs 734.66 crore from the Odisha Contingency Fund (OCF) for implementing KALIA as it is most important and urgent for the benefits of the farmers. The step has also been taken within the norms of law.

He countered that the opposition parties with a mala fide intention and without delving into the legal provisions have been blaming the State Government unnecessarily.

The BJD IT Wing head argued that the OCF amount has been used in the past several times. In 1995-96, Rs 10.43 crore had been used in the National Watershed Development Programme for Rain-Fed Area (NWDPRA), Rs 11.34 crore for mid-day meal (MDM) programme, Rs 15 crore for re-payment of cooperative loan, etc.

He also cited instances of 1996-97. He claimed that Rs 2 crore from the OCF was utilized in the construction of 400 KV line of Rengali Kolaghat Transmission, Rs 6,05 crore for the expansion and modernization of Aska Sugar Industries Ltd.

In 1997-98, Rs 7.28 crore OCF amount has been used as loan to Odisha State Cooperative Bank, Rs 2 crore for the development of Kalinga Nagar Plot Development Scheme, Rs 5,15 crore towards compensation payment to OSCTC employees, Rs 12.27 crore towards payment of post-matric scholarship to the SC & ST students.

Similarly in 1998-99, Rs 7.35 crore was also spent from OCF for the extra need of MLALAD funds, Rs 7.35 crore for one-time settlement of loan taken from bank by Odisha Fish Seed Development.

Even in 1999-2000, Rs 19 crore towards payment to OSCARD Bank, Rs 6.30 crore from the OCF was withdrawn for lending loan to HUDCO, Bhubaneswar, Rs 7.35 crore for MPLAD as it was required for spending extra Rs 5 lakh for each parliamentary constituency, the BJD spokesperson claimed.

He also argued against the opposition’s allegation that KALIA would force the State into debt burden.

The BJD spokesperson claimed that Odisha’s debt burden is much less than that of other States and especially, in comparison to States like Maharashtra (highest in the country), Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, West Bengal, etc.

He also cited the latest report on Central Government’s debt burden basing on the report of 8th Edition Status Paper.

Also Read: BJD Will Do Extremely Well In Forthcoming Elections: Odisha CM

Also Read: ‘Ama Gaon Ama Bikash’ Programme Completes For This Year, Covers All 314 Blocks: Odisha CM

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Dr Amar Patnaik, Spokesperson, BJD