New Delhi: The Odisha Budget for the financial year 2020-21 presented by Niranjan Pujari, state’s Finance Minister, has many firsts. It was coined as a green budget as for the first time in the history of the Odisha Assembly, a finance minister read out the budget speech from an iPad and presented the Odisha budget 2020 in a pen drive to chief minister Naveen Patnaik. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik shared details of the initiative on his social media and said,
Committed to building a green and sustainable future, #Odisha has saved around 1000 big trees by switching over to paperless budgeting in 2020-21 fiscal. Digital methods reduced printing of at least 75 lakh pages, ultimately saving hundreds of trees.
Committed to build a green & sustainable future, #Odisha has saved around 1000 big trees by switching over to paperless budgeting in 2020-21 fiscal. Digital methods reduced printing of at least 75 lakh pages, ultimately saving hundreds of trees. #GoGreen #GreenBudget @FdOdisha pic.twitter.com/RzV5HwFQov
— Naveen Patnaik (@Naveen_Odisha) February 17, 2020
Apart from being a green budget, Odisha became one of the first states in India to present a separate Nutrition Budget document aimed at improving the nutrition level in children and the overall health of the state. For the 2020-21 fiscal year, the state has allocated Rs 5,543 crore allocation for nutrition-specific schemes whereas in 2018-19 it was Rs 3,999.08 crore and Rs 25,571 crore has been provisioned for nutrition-sensitive schemes compared to Rs 13,879.96 crore in 2018-19. In the budget speech Finance Minister Pujari highlighted the importance of the one-of-its-kind nutrition budget in the state and said,
The State Government has undertaken strategic measures to combat malnutrition through adequate provisions in the Nutrition Budget, which as a tool. Via this nutrition budget, state hopes in achieving key Sustainable Development Goals such as reduction of hunger and improvement in nutrition outcomes.
Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik sharing details of the schemes and budget allocation on his social media added, “Nutrition budget will help focus on vulnerable people and improve nutrition outcomes.”
#Odisha has become first state to introduce nutrition budget with ₹5543Cr allocation for nutrition specific schemes & ₹25,571Cr provision for nutrition sensitive schemes. Nutrition budget helps focus on vulnerable people & improve nutrition outcomes.#NewOdishaEmpoweredOdisha pic.twitter.com/PHnDxyiCCd
— CMO Odisha (@CMO_Odisha) February 20, 2020
Mainstreaming children in the development process, the Odisha Budget 2020 increased outlay for child-specific schemes to Rs 23,665.76 crore, moreover increasing per child expenditure from Rs 13,111 in 2019 to Rs 16,294.
Mainstreaming children in the development process, #OdishaBudget2020 increased outlay for child specific schemes to ₹23665.76 Cr. Allocation for children specific schemes & programmes through #ChildBudget help target investment on future of the state. #NewOdishaEmpoweredOdisha pic.twitter.com/djeDwOiayC
— CMO Odisha (@CMO_Odisha) February 20, 2020
Giving thumbs up to Odisha Government for presenting one-of-a-kind budget, experts on social media shared their views.
‘Nutrition Man’, Basanta Kumar Kar, who has also been awarded the Nutrition Leadership Award 2019 said,
Odisha becomes a pioneer with this Nutrition Budget.
Odisha becomes a pioneer with Nutrition Budget. In Odisha Development Conclave(2017), it was our recommendation. Would require the Annual Average Rate of Reductions(AARRs) to 3-5 times on key indicators for a Mission Malnutrition Free Odisha by 2036; the 100 years of Statehood.
— Basanta kumar kar (@basantak) February 20, 2020
Arabinda K Padhee, Country Director, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, said,
Government of Odisha’s Budget 2020 has special attention on #Climate and #Nutrition. This is indeed a unique initiative. Governance and policy priorities are extremely important to bring desired outcomes. Focus should now be on implementation. Kudos!
Government of Odisha’s Budget 2020 has special attention on #Climate and #Nutrition. This is indeed a unique initiative. Governance and policy priorities are extremely imp to bring desired outcomes. Focus should now be on implementation. Kudos! @FdOdisha @ashokkmeena @CMO_Odisha
— Arabinda K Padhee (@arvindpadhee) February 18, 2020
Radhika Srivastava, Advocacy, Communications and Partnership Specialist, UNICEF India added, “A big leap forward in the fight against malnutrition. This is the first ever nutrition budget in India. #InvestInNutrtion”
A big leap forward in the fight against malnutrition.
The first ever #nutrition budget in #India presented by #Odisha with support from @UNICEFIndia. A total of
Rs 29000 crore or 4B USD allocated for both nutrition specific+nutrition sensitive interventions! #InvestInNutrtion https://t.co/vIu2mDCbe6
— Radhika Srivastava (@Radhika_Sr1) February 19, 2020
Achyuta Samanta, Founder of Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology said, “The Odisha Budget 2020 is truly a remarkable step forward in making our state stronger and more prosperous. I welcome all the initiatives by the Government, especially those to do with nutrition.”
The Odisha Budget 2020 is truly a remarkable step forward in making our state stronger & more prosperous. I welcome all the initiatives by the Government, especially those to do with nutrition, climate, sports, MSME, drinking water. pic.twitter.com/mcO4K6Ow6E
— Achyuta Samanta (@achyuta_samanta) February 19, 2020
In Numbers: Odisha’s Nutrition Status
According to the National Family Health Survey 4 report, the Under 5 Mortality Rate (U5MR) (per 1,000 live births) in Odisha has reduced from 91 (2005-06) to 48 (2015-16). Moreover, for the first time the state has improved it’s health and nutrition indicators vis-à-vis national figures, with infant mortality rate of 40 (against national average of 41); child mortality rate at 48 (against national average of 50); severely underweight at 34.4 (against national average of 35.7); stunting at 34.1 (against national average of 38.4) for the year 2016-16.