Bhubaneswar: While attending to the NITI Aayog meeting on Sunday at New Delhi, Chief Minister Naveen Pattnaik on Sunday has repeated with his demand to accord Special Category State (SCS) status to Odisha as it still has a high percentage of BPL population, most of which belong to SC and ST categories, requiring higher Central fund transfers.
The meeting was organised under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Pattnaik urged during the meeting that Odisha has a high percentage of population below poverty line belonging to ST and SC categories and, hence, deserves the same sharing pattern at par with north-eastern and Himalayan States as per the Punchhi Commission recommendations for higher Central transfers to backward States for improving their physical and social infrastructure.
He claimed that Odisha has made impressive strides in terms of economic growth and poverty reduction. The real growth of Odisha’s economy has accelerated from 4.61 per cent in 2012-13 to 7.94 per cent in 2016-17 and poverty in Odisha declined by 24.61 percentage points from 57.20 per cent in 2004-05 to 32.59 in 2011 as per Tendulkar Committee methodology.
Aprt, he said that his government is working with an objective of providing ‘Shelter Security’ to over 2.5 million rural households by 2019, ‘Power for All’ by March 2019 including 100 per cent village electrification by 2018, improved road connectivity, higher agricultural productivity and empowerment of farmers through increased irrigation.
He mentioned the State is in the process of preparing Vision-2036 for overall development of the State, which will coincide with 100th year of formation of Odisha.
The Chief Minister mentioned that low telecom connectivity including lower bandwidth, low financial inclusion and a lower bank credit remain primary concerns of the State and urged upon the Governing Council to address these deficiencies.
He informed the Governing Council that Odisha Government has submitted a proposal to increase the minimum support price for paddy for the benefit of farmers in the State. He urged upon the Union Government to provide adequate funds in the Union Budget for ordinary repair and periodical renewal of the National Highways.