Sunday, December 11, 2011

‘State Budget should reflect people's aspirations' SUNDAY, 11 DECEMBER 2011 21:58 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR

‘State Budget should reflect people's aspirations'
SUNDAY, 11 DECEMBER 2011 21:58

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To ensure peoples' participation and to reflect peoples' aspirations in the State Budget and acquaint them with it and its process, a pre-budget consultation meet for Balangir was held here on Tuesday.
The budget is prepared by bureaucrats where involvement of people at the grassroots is very less. There should be more peoples' participation in budgetary process, observed farmer leader Uday Singh Thakur.
Besides taking steps for creation of more irrigation facility in the district, special attention should be given to the displaced person, Thakur opined, adding that more hospitals should be opened at the Gram Panchayat level for better delivery of healthcare and services to the rural people.
The Odisha Budget and Accountability Centre of CYSD along with ADHAR organised the consultation meet.
The needs and aspirations of the people of the district will be reflected in the forthcoming budget, observed Prakash Barik of Odisha Budget and Accountability Centre (OBAC), CYSD. Over last seven years, the OBAC is carrying out the process, Barik informed.
A sample survey in 22villages of the district revealed four priority areas of Balangir district, namely education, health service, women and child development and agriculture, pointed out Nandi Kishore Sandh of Balangir district budget watch group.
There should be more number of regular teachers, better infrastructure in schools and better monitoring of functioning of the schools to realise the desired objective of Right to Education Act (RTE), Nandi said further.
For better delivery of health care and services in the district, the number beds of district headquarters hospital should be increased to 500 and more mobile teams should be engaged to deliver health care services in rural areas. The ICDS system in the district should be strengthened and steps should be taken to ensure their transparency through social audit and public hearing, Nandi asserted.
By constructing a barrage on Tel river, irrigation could be provided to 20,40,00 hectares of land in Kalahandi, Balangir, Sonepur and Boudh districts. This would lead to submergence of 100 hectares of Government land, pointed out a retired engineer Premraj Sai. Sai presented a paper on irrigation prospect in the district.
The health care system which is reeling under vacant doctors' posts is also suffering from the problem of "deputation".
"A doctor posted in rural areas is being brought to district headquarters hospital or other hospitals on deputation. This makes it difficult for a doctor to serve properly to the patients in all the hospitals at a time," pointed out Patnagarh MLA KV Singhdeo. Uma Shankar Sahu stressed the need for addressing the issue of dropouts in schools and migrant children in the district.

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