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Naveen reiterates special state status at meeting with NITI Aayog vice-chairman

Naveen Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reiterated the special state status demand during a meeting with NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar here on Saturday.

Patnaik also urged the Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman for revision of coal royalty and open bank branches in 4376 unbanked Gram Panchayat in the state.

Besides, the Chief Minister requested Rajiv Kumar to expand mobile network in 11,200 villages and broadband connectivity in the Maoists affected districts of the state.

Restoration of Central assistance for Special plan for KBK, IAP and BRGF districts and hike of the Centre’s share in the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) from 75% to 90% with effect from 1st July, 2017, are the other demands which the Odisha CM placed before the Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman.

The Chief Minister also said that Under PMGSY Scheme, for 38 LWE Blocks, the population range norm for up-gradation of the existing roads should be relaxed to 100 and above. He also demanded adequate funds for development and maintenance of National Highways.

He further demanded the Railways to speed up the execution of the works in the state.

“The Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana, modeled on the lines of Odisha’s Flagship State Scheme MAMTA, needs certain modifications for wider coverage of beneficiaries,” Patnaik suggested.

“The Amritsar-Kolkata industrial corridor may be extended up to Visakhapatnam to connect it to Deep Water Ports. This would also facilitate strategic link between carious industrial corridors of the county and there should be advance intimation of the annual allocation for the Central Sponsored Scheme,” he added.

On the other hand, after his meeting with Naveen, the Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman while briefing media informed, “As per the official process of NITI Aayog, we should meet all the Chief Ministers at their respective State capital cities. The aim and objective of it is to convince the Chief Ministers to make NITI Aayog their medium of communication with the Central Government so that the State’s problems are properly addressed.”

“I’m happy that I met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaikji and all his bureaucrats. Many issues were raised in the meeting. Before my coming over here, issues pertaining to State’s interests had been submitted with us. There are 9-10 important issues. Out of these, some are relating to Odisha and Central Government and some other issues are, for instance, coal royalty. It also concerns some other States. We will look into it separately,” he further informed.

He explained, “Our effort through such meetings is that the senior bureaucrats from this State would come over to New Delhi and the officials of the required Ministries will be invited to the NITI Aayog and interact on the solutions.”

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