Bhubaneswar,09/01/19:Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today reiterated the demand of Special Category Status for the state before the 15th Finance Commission.
A meeting between the State Government and the Commission was held here today in the presence of ministers and senior bureaucrats of the government and Nand Kishore Singh, chairman of the commission.
The CM, in a memorandum submitted to the commission, also sought a special package of Rs 1500 crore to build more cyclone shelters and improve disaster warning system in the state.
Increasing tax devolution from 42 per cent to 50 per cent, making cess and surcharge as part of divisible pool, use of 1971 population as devolution criteria, extension of GST compensation for another 10 years and spending of Clean Energy Cess in coal mining areas were other suggestions of the state government.
The government also sought Rs 8.24 lakh crore from the commission for the period 2020-25.
“We have submitted a detailed memorandum to the Commission. I am hopeful that it will incorporate all our suggestions and aid in the rapid progress of Odisha,” the Chief Minister said.
He said the state has achieved the highest poverty reduction in the country — 24.61 percentage points decline — with 80 lakh persons coming out of poverty in the last decade.
He said Odisha was the leading state in rural housing, completing a record 20 lakh houses since 2014.
“Our pace of transformation has been remarkable and our growth has been inclusive. Unfortunately, successive Central government has ensured that Odisha remains at the bottom in tele-intensity, railway network, banking and highways compounded by neglect in industrial corridor, coal royalty, drinking water and irrigation and cutting off funds for Scheduled Areas and Kalahandi Balangir Koraput region,” said the Chief Minister.
“It is in this premise of historic Central neglect and frequent natural calamities that my government has been demanding Special Category Status for Odisha which will supplement our efforts in transforming the state,” he added.
The Finance Commission led by Chairman N.K. Singh is on a four-day visit to the state to hold detailed meetings with the state government and discuss on the state’s finances and other issues.