Bhubaneswar: Union Minister of State for External Affairs Gen VK Singh on Tuesday said that Odisha has failed to achieve the desired level of development, dismissing the demand for special category status to it.
The minister of state for external affairs downplayed the demand for special category status, saying it is not necessary to accord such status to a state which is getting 12% higher funds than before.
He said that the tag of special status has now become irrelevant under the changed situation as the states are now getting substantial financial assistance from the Centre for undertaking developmental activities. Stating that the Centre is now providing adequate funds to the state instead of doling out assistance under the garb of special category status.
Reacting to the union minister’s statement, BJD spokesperson Prashant Nanda said, “BJP had promised to make efforts to get special category status for Odisha in its 2014 election manifesto, but the party has forgotten its promise”.
The Centre has decided to open Passport Seva Kendras in 150 head post offices this year. A total of 800 such Seva Kendras will be opened by 2019, said singh.