The Government of Odisha has unveiled a Rs 1.7 lakh crore state budget for fiscal year 2021-22, that officials claim will help the state’s economy faster from the pandemic’s shadow. Although it is an expansionary budget, most experts see it as the need of the hour. But does it do enough to ensure the economy sees a sustainable, accelerated recovery in a manner that is inclusive? Does it prioritise sectors and segments of people that were hit the hardest by the Covid-19 outbreak? More importantly, has it taken too much risk in doubling its dependence on borrowing to support an expansionary budget.

For answers, Rajesh Mahapatra of Odisha Dialogues turns to a panel of experts — former Chief Secretary of Odisha Jugal Mohapatra, economist and former vice chancellor of Rama Devi University Padmaja Mishra, Oxfam India analyst Pravas Mishra, Congress leader and former finance minister Panchanan Kanungo, Rajya Sabha MP and national spokesperson of Biju Janata Dal Amar Pattnaik and state vice president of Bharatiya Janata Party Bhrugu Baxipatra.

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