Odisha Budget 2021-22: Health, Sports Get High Allocation

Odisha Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari presented the State Budget 2021-22 on Monday. With the COVID-19 pandemic raging, special attention was given to the Health sector. A total budgetary allocation of Rs 1,70,000 cr was proposed by the Finance Minister, which includes an outlay of Rs 85,000 cr for administrative expenditure.

In the health sector, the Finance Minister allocated a budget of Rs 9,164 cr, which is approximately 19 per cent higher than the previous financial year. A sum of Rs 1,353 cr has been provided under the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana. Under the scheme, the family can avail free medical facilities up to Rs 5 lakh in case of male beneficiaries and Rs 10 lakh in case of female beneficiaries.

The Government has also proposed a sum of Rs 3500 cr to develop SCB Medical College and Hospital into AIIMS Plus Institute over the next three years. A sum of Rs 500 cr has been allocated for the project in this financial year.

The budget has also given special attention to the sports sector. Odisha will be hosting the 2023 Men’s hockey world cup in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela. A total sum of Rs 400 cr has been allocated for the development of sports infrastructure in the state. The Birsa Munda International stadium in Rourkela, which will be the largest in the country (seating capacity-wise) will be constructed at a cost of Rs 120 cr. Besides, the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar will be upgraded with an indoor athletic track, swimming pools and high-performance centres.

Additionally, the tourism department has also received a record Rs 500 cr allocation, which is a 25 percent increase since last year. The Odisha Government has also proposed an outlay of Rs 17,469 cr for Agriculture and allied activities.

In a message, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik hailed the budget as ‘pro-people,’ ‘pro-growth,’ and ‘transformative.’

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