Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], January 19 (ANI): In a pre-Budget consultation meeting with Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Odisha's Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari has demanded sharing pattern in the centrally-sponsored schemes (CSS) at par with north-eastern and Himalayan states.
Pujari called for a sharing pattern to stop off-budget transfers of funds for CSS. Even if it is an off-Budget resource for the Union government, it should be routed through the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
He called for allowing states to operate the CSS directly instead of opening a separate scheme based bank account. An advance indication on Central assistance for the CSS should be given and funds should be released as per commitments.
Pujari also called for amendment to sub-section (3) of Section 8 of Central Sales Tax Act 1956 to prohibit misuse of 'C' forms by manufacturers, mining contractors and works contractors for inter-state purchase of high-speed diesel paying CST at the rate of two per cent.
He called for making a provision of at least Rs 7,200 crore in the forthcoming Budget for 2021-22 for railway infrastructure in Odisha, sanctioning of new lines, modernisation of stations, establishment of rail-based industries and multi-modal logistics parks.
Pujari called for allocation of at least Rs 5,650 crore for telecom sector in the state. The state minister also called for gradually eliminating cess and surcharge on the customs duty and direct taxes.