**Bhubaneswar: ** Even though the tax benefits for middle and lower income groups, assistance to the farmers and MSME initiatives have been welcomed, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today awarded the Interim Budget-2019 merely 2.5 marks out of 10 marks.
In his media reactions on the Interim Budget presented today in Lok Sabha, the Chief Minister said, “I welcome the Tax benefits planned for middle and lower income groups. I also welcome the direct benefit transfer proposed for small and marginal famers on lines of our KALIA Scheme. However, it would have benefitted the farmers more if the quantum of assistance is equal or more than our KALIA Scheme i.e. Rs 10,000 per year. Also there is nothing for landless poor, share croppers and farmers in distress.”
Commenting that some initiatives taken towards MSME sector is encouraging, the Odisha CM stated, “However, this does not suffice to meet the needs of employment generation in the country.”
He also stated, “I am deeply disappointed with the National Social Security Scheme i.e. Old Age Pension and other Pensions have not been revised at all. The State is covering 48 lakh beneficiaries with Rs 500 per month while Centre is giving Rs 200 per month for 20 lakh beneficiaries only.”
He added, “I am also disappointed with the allocation for ST/SC welfare both in infrastructure and education. We have been requesting to restore the Scholarship Funds for SC students which have not been done.”
“The allocation for MGNREGS is lower than the allocation in the revised estimate. This will adversely affect timely wage payments,” he viewed.
He also viewed, “The Budget allocation on rural connectivity, rural housing and drinking water have been reduced or have remained at previous level. This is not encouraging.”
The CM also stated, “14th Finance Commission recommended total transfer of Rs 1, 84,070 crores during the award period (2015-20). However, based on the actual receipts for 2015-18, Revised Estimates for 2018-19 and Budget Estimates for 2019-20, the State is going to receive only Rupees 1, 57,828 crores.”
“Thus, the State will be hit with a short fall of Rs 26,342 crores,” quipped the Odisha Chief Minister.
**Also Read:** [Highlights Of Interim Budget 2019-20](https://www.ommcomnews.com/india-news/highlights-of-interim-budget-2019-20)
**Also Read:** [How Does Bhubaneswar React To Union Budget 2019](https://www.ommcomnews.com/odisha-news/how-does-bhubaneswar-react-to-union-budget-2019)