New Delhi: Kandhamal MP Achyuta Samanta replied to the motion of thanks on the President’s address to Parliament, in the Lok Sabha today.
Expressing his deep gratitude to the President of India for his Address, he said the address was an aspiration to create a New India, an inspiration to move with new energy and ambition to envision the decade and century as India’s decade and India’s century.
Participating in the discussion, Dr. Samanta highlighted the various issues of Odisha. He reiterated the demand from the Chief Minister of Odisha Shri Naveen Patnaik regarding the inclusion of the term ‘Non-Violence’ in our Preamble which is a key to our constitution.
Hon’ble President touched the point of building natural disaster resilient infrastructure, but there was no mention of special focus state status to be given to Odisha, given our state’s experience of facing repeated natural disasters and fighting back every single time. Even the NK Singh’s Finance Commission Report highlights and praises Odisha’s resilience. It should be given adequate waivers, financial assistance, and compensation to face a natural calamity as Odisha is frequently prone to natural calamities.
Highlighting on farmer’s plight, he said, farmers are the backbone of the Nation. Many schemes of the government aim at reducing the plight of selling the product below the optimum rates, but the fact remains that the middlemen take lion’s share of the benefit, keeping the farmer languished. I believe despite monumental efforts at their welfare, the ground reality is different and their purchasing power is below par. Until the purchasing power increases, poverty cannot be alleviated at large. The crop insurance schemes and loan waivers also don’t elevate their pains and problems. Here I would like to mention about KALIA Scheme of Odisha to improve productivity and insurance cover, which is long term support to farmers.
5 Archaeological sites in India have been promised to be developed as iconic sites in this year’s Budget. Though our Odisha has a treasure trove of historical sites, it has not been given its due, he added.
Odisha Government under the leadership of CM, Naveen Patnaik has agreed to cover 50% of the cost of construction of railways, while also providing free land. But many rail projects are getting stalled and are executed slowly. There is no execution of railway extension to Kandhamal, though it was proposed for the last 50 years.
He reiterated the state’s demands for an increase in the rates of royalty and that the state government should get a share from the cess collected on coal by the Central Government. He pointed out that the people of Kandhamal suffer from a lack of clean drinking water and running water from the tap.
Some iconic sites of Odisha should be considered and taken up for Development. It can boost the socio-economic development of the region. He thanked Naveen Patnaik for his efforts at building Puri as Cultural Capital and Bhubaneswar as a Sports Capital. Tele-density and banking density both have to increase in Odisha as people in most rural pockets of the state are compelled to climb trees and high-rise structures to obtain mobile networks. We urge to expand mobile network and broadband connectivity in over 11,000 villages including Kandhamal.
112 districts in India have been declared as aspirational districts and many initiatives have been taken. Unless initiatives from the Government and collaboration from the corporate pools happen in these districts, it will never become inspiration from aspiration.
On 5 Trillion Dollar Economy, he said, for our youth to be a demographic dividend and not turn out to be a disaster, quality education and skill training is the only solution. Though the major challenge is employment generation, the allocations have been inadequate. We request for fiscal autonomy for the state – our beloved Biju Babu believed Odisha could be transformed into the most advanced state in South Asia with financial autonomy.