The forum was opened for discussion by a presentation by the XFIN highlighting the key features of the budget and the relevant questions to be discussed upon by the panelists. Amongst the key features that came through after the discussion were issues relating to the upliftment of the poorer sections of society and 128th rank in the Human Development Index despite a growing economy. Other than that the level of health care available to the poor sections were considered in the light of PPP as mentioned in this year’s budget.
Towards the end of the discussion Mr Jagadananda highlighted the fact that the poorer sections did not have a strong lobby to monitor their development and advancement and how the social activists needed to step in and lobby for their cause. He mentioned how by being ‘active citizens’ we can help the cause of the rural poor. The problems were attributed to the fact that the budget was more of a outlay mechanism rather than outcome based where bodies would actively monitor the outcome and not the outlays. The discussion was ended with a plea by Mr Trilokya Jena to the students on how they should take up the cause and help the state government with projects and give suggestions on how to structure the resources for the planned expenditure and not just discuss the budget which would be forgotten in a short span of time. The discussion was followed by a question answer session where the panelists answered to the students queries regarding the budget.
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