Budget to benefit agrarian rural economy of Odisha: Pradhan

Bhubaneswar : Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday said the Budget 2016-17 will largely benefit agrarian rural economies of Odisha.

He said the thrust of the budget is to give boost to rural economy, incentivise agricultural activities, create employment opportunities, strengthen education and skill development and provide health-care to the poor and marginalised.

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He said the allocations made towards irrigation, rural roads, employment schemes will not only boost the agrarian economy of the state but will also help in creating more jobs in the agriculture sector.

For the youths of the state, the budget envisages release of their entrepreneurial talent by providing them with support and through skill development initiatives, Pradhan said in a statement.

“This will benefit states like Odisha with the focus of the government being on development of Eastern India,” he said.

Noting the budget has made provision of Rs. 2,000 crore for providing cooking gas connections to 1.5 crore women in urban and rural households at concessional rates, Pradhan said that this will benefit the state, where the LPG penetration is low..

In Odisha, 34 lakh households have access to cooking gas and by 2018, this number will be scaled up to 75 lakh. This will provide women of the state access to clean, affordable cooking fuels which will be beneficial to their health and will be environmental friendly as well, he added.

However, the Odisha government termed the budget disappointing.

State Congress unit president Prasad Harichandan also said the budget lacks any vision.

“The budget has no mention of loan to farmers who have been hit by drought. Besides, there is no special package for Odisha,” he said.