Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday expressed his dissatisfaction over the reduction in budget allocation under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana while appreciating Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s announcement that the minimum support price (MSP) on agriculture produce will be 1.5 times the market rate.
“I am concerned about the low level of allocations by the Centre for MGNREGA, Mid-Day Meal Scheme, National Health Mission and Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY). I am surprised by the reduction in allocation under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, while we have a
commitment towards housing for all. There is also inadequate emphasis on providing drinking water and marginal increase in allocation for irrigation is a serious concern,” the Chief Minister said, reacting to the Union Budget 2018 presented by Jaitley.
“It has been our constant demand to increase the minimum support price for the benefit of farmers. It seems that our demand has been accepted. However, the cost of production must take into account the actual cost incurred by farmers on a realistic basis. I welcome the intent of the Central Government. At the same time, I am keenly
waiting to see the modalities of calculation,” Naveen said.
On MSP of agricultural products, Jaitley said only increasing the MSP is not enough, the government will fix the MSP of agricultural products at 1.5 times the market rate.
Expressing his happiness that a National Health Protection Scheme has been announced to cover 10 crore poor families, the CM said that it would have been better that instead of a target of 10 crore, universal coverage extending to all eligible poor families was incorporated. If such a step is taken, the state government will fully support it, he added.