Odisha chronicles its 80-year fiscal journey

BHUBANESWAR: Odisha has become the first state in India to chronicle and analyse its fiscal journey and growth of the last 82 years in a unique publication ‘80 Years of Odisha Budget- a Commemorative Volume’.
From a shoestring budget of the newly created state in 1936 to a whopping budget of Rs 1.2 lakh crore, the book has made an empirical analysis of state’s finance and also visualised the way forward.

Releasing the book here on Monday chief minister said, “The description traces the journey of the state through the initial phase of turbulent reconstruction to the relative stable time of the present day.”

Total expenditure summing up to Rs 1.77 crore, the budget of 1936-37 was a baby step towards transforming the socio-economic condition of the new province. Over the 80 years this has risen at a compound annual growth rate of 15% to a six digit budget of Rs 1, 06, 910 crore for the year 2017-18, he said.

“When my government formed for the first time in 2000, the budget outlay was Rs 14,000 crore and it has reached a level of Rs 1, 20, 028 crore in 2018-19. Over the years Odisha budget has shown innovations to achieve the broader objective of development and welfare of the people of the state. Odisha is no longer a BIMARU state,” he pointed out.

Apart from analysing various aspects of budgets of the last like priorities during the period the book also documented interesting anecdotes and events in the fiscal history of the state. Since the newly created state had marginal revenue which was highly insufficient to meet its necessary expenditure, Odisha received Rs 50 lakh compensation for the land it lost. Odisha also assigned a non-recurring grant of Rs 19 lakh from the centre at that time.

The 436 page book with five chapters also mentioned that Odisha’s economy experienced a fiscal imbalance in the form of high fiscal revenue and primary deficits throughout the 1990s and in the ensuing decade till 2003-04. A possible driver was the mismatch between the expenditure needs and the revenue collection of the state, the book mentioned.

Several expenditure rationalization and revenue augmentation measures along with other fiscal reform programmes had resulted in revenue surpluses since 2005-06 onwards. In 2006-07, the state became a fiscal surplus state for the first time.

Speaking on the occasion development commissioner R Balakrishnan said, “The book portrays an inspiring story of the growth of the state. It took around two and a half years to compile the book and we took help of experts, economists, researchers. We brought documents form London, Chicago, Chennai and Patna.”

Among others speaker Pradeep Kumar Amat, leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra, finance minister Sashi Bhushan Behera, many former finance ministers, finance secretaries, MPs, MLAs and academicians were present during the book release ceremony.

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