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Odisha deserves Special Category State status, reiterates CM Naveen Patnaik

Bhubaneswar, February 17, 2018: NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar on Saturday met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the State Secretariat here. The CM raised important issues of Odisha’s interest, including the most “deserved” Special Category State status for the State for fast tracking ongoing development activities.

“I have again raised our demand for restoration of Central Assistance for Special Plan for KBK, Integrated Action Plan (IAP) & Backward Region Grants Fund (BGRF) districts and sought increase in central share in State Disaster Response Fund from 75% to 90% as committed by Government of India,” said Patnaik in his facebook page.

The CM discussed a whole gamut of issues and emphasised adequate fund allocation and proper extension of central schemes to fast track development and give fillip to welfare initiatives for the people. Infrastructure development, road, rail and port connectivity, rural development and payments of state’s dues featured in the discussion.

Patnaik asked Kumar for restoration of central assistance for Special Plan for KBK, IAP & BRGF Districts, revision of long overdue royalty on coal, sharing pattern of Centrally Sponsored Schemes on par with North-Eastern and Himalayan States, advanced intimation of annual allocation under Centrally Sponsored Schemes, funds released should not be less than allocation.

The CM urged the NITI Aayog VC to consider population range norm for upgrading existing roads to be relaxed to 100 and above in 38 LWE blocks, to give special attention to financial inclusion in 4,376 unbanked GPs, mobile connectivity to 11,200 villages and broadband to all GPs especially in LWE areas, adequate funds for development and maintenance of National Highways and expediting construction of rail lines for which the State Government is providing 50% funds and land free of cost. 

Patnaik also sought an extension of Amritsar-Kolkata industrial corridor to Vishakhapatnam for strategic linking between various industrial corridors and modification in Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana, modelled on Odisha’s flagship scheme MAMTA, for wider coverage.

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