For the coming Budget 2021-22, Odisha has sought provision of minimum 7,200 crore for the railway infrastructure and 5,650 crore for development of telecom sector in the state.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s pre-Budget consultation meeting with Finance Ministers of States, Niranjan Pujari Odisha Finance Minister made the demand. Pujari stated that the extra funds are very essential for the on-going projects, sanctioning of new line, station modernisation, and establishment of rail based industries and multi-modal logistics parks. Even provision for sufficient funds towards the development and maintenance of the National Highways and adequate allocation for piped drinking water was sought by state finance minister.
Pujari sought amendment of sub-section (3) of section 8 of Central Sales Tax Act to prohibit misuse of ‘C’ Forms by the manufacturers, mining contractors, and works contractors for inter-state purchase of High Speed Diesel (HSD) paying CST @2%.
He further suggested regarding the issues of Power Sector like amendment in tariff policy to terminate very old power purchase agreements (PPAs), amendment to Electricity Act, 2003 to allow all hydro projects under RPO obligation and enable Discoms /States’ Bulk Power procurers to participate in tenders floated by SCI for procurement of Bundled Power for reduction in power purchase cost of Discoms.
Even the state was also in favour of gradual elimination of cess and surcharge on customs duty and direct taxes.
Pujari also suggested that the Union Finance Minister allow the stated to operate centrally sponsored schemes directly instead of opening separate scheme based bank account. Even for the sharing pattern for Odisha at par with North-Eastern and Himalayan States was also demanded by Odisha finance minister.
News Source- TOI
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