With its revenue declining, Odisha to go for more borrowings from environment, mining funds
At the meeting of the council of ministers chaired by chief minister Naveen Patnaik, the government decided to borrow more from the CAMPA and OMBADC funds.Updated: Jul 23, 2020 07:46 IST
With its battle against the Covid-19 pandemic becoming tougher by the day due to surge in cases, Odisha would borrow money from the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority and Odisha Mineral Bearing Areas Development Corporation funds.
At the meeting of the council of ministers chaired by chief minister Naveen Patnaik, the government decided to borrow more from the CAMPA and OMBADC funds. Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy said as the transfer of central funds to the state will decline this financial year due to economic recession, the borrowing is necessary. Odisha has already borrowed Rs 1,000 crore from these two funds.
“When the first case of Covid-19 was detected in Odisha on March 16, we had only a single testing centre- ICMR-RMRC. After that, there have been several new testing labs. A total of Rs 340 crore has been spent from the Chief Minister Relief Fund, Rs 624 crore from State Disaster Relief Fund, Rs 73 crore from MLA LAD funds and the PRI institutions have spent Rs 875 crore for developing critical infrastructure to fight Covid-19. The scale of this pandemic is huge, so to meet the challenge of manpower and infrastructure engaged in the fight has been enormous. Life is above everything else. So priority will be given to manage the evolving crisis,” said Tripathy.
Soon after the lockdown started, the Centre had allowed states to use up to 30% of unutilised district mineral funds for spending on Covid-19 infrastructure. So far, 19,835 persons in the state were detected with coronavirus in the state of which 108 succumbed to the virus.
The pandemic has already started taking a huge toll on the state’s economy with its revenue earning down by 23 percent in the first quarter of the current financial year in comparison to the corresponding period last year. The total revenue collection between April and June was Rs 8,204 crore against last year’ss collection of Rs 10,645 crore.
The chief secretary said most of the money on Covid-19 has been spent on paying salary and incentive to around 2 lakh doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, lab technicians, ASHA and anganwadi workers, ambulance drivers, veterinary docs and counsellors. There has also been a huge expenditure in purchasing masks, PPEs, testing kits and oxygen cylinders.
“There have been several interventions for the livelihood of the economically vulnerable sections. Rs 1,500 have been given to construction workers, Rs 2,000 to people who successfully completed their quarantine period. All these figures were presented before the Council of Ministers today,” Tripathy said.