Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government could seek financial support from the Centre for the creation of a ‘green wall’ of 10 km width along the 400 km coastline to prevent the coastal districts from catastrophic cyclones like Fani.
A proposal in this regard came up for discussion during the pre-budget consultation meeting here ahead of the presentation of the full-budget on June 28 by the newly-elected Naveen Patnaik Government. Naveen has taken over as the Chief Minister for the fifth consecutive term.
The meeting was chaired by Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari. “We have noted the suggestions and will analyse them before taking them into consideration,” he said.
Indications are that the size of the budget would be 10 per cent higher than the previous year’s budget. There could be enhanced budgetary allocation for the flagship KALIA scheme of the Naveen Patnaik government as the number of beneficiaries has increased from 50 lakh to 75 lakh.
Enhanced budgetary support for infrastructure creation following Cyclone Fani and agriculture sector is on the cards. Allocation for the ‘Mission Shakti’ programme and other schemes could also be raised.
“There is a proposal for creating a green wall of 10 km width along the coastline. This will be more beneficial for the state than seeking special category status,” former finance minister Panchanan Kanungo said.
The state government might also seek Centre’s support for strengthening the tourism infrastructure.
“The budget proposal during the previous fiscal was Rs 1.20 lakh crore and is expected to go up this year. There was also a suggestion in the meeting for the qualitative expenditure of resource allocated,” former finance minister Prafulla Ghadai said.