Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik demands special package to strengthen disaster management system

  • | Wednesday | 9th January, 2019

BHUBANESWAR: Chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday seeks special package of Rs 1,500 crore for Odisha to strengthen the disaster management system by building cyclone shelters and to improve the warning system.The demand before the 15th Finance Commission assumes significance as Odisha faces natural calamities almost every alternate year.Naveen, during his meeting with the Finance Commission here, also demanded to increase tax devolution for states from the existing 42 per cent to 50 per cent.Making cess and surcharges as part of the divisible pool, using 1971 population as devolution criteria, extension of GST compensation for another 10 years and to spend the clean energy cess in coal mining areas are some of the other major suggestions made by the chief minister before the commission.“The economy of Odisha is on a path of steady growth. Against all odds, the state has registered reasonable growth performance in recent years with annual growth of about 10 per cent in 2016-17 and above 6.5 per cent in 2017-18,” said Naveen.Projecting Odisha’s transformation in many sectors like disaster management, agriculture, improving health standards, financial stability, industrialisation, educational infrastructure, building rural housing, women empowerment, skill development and poverty eradication under his leadership since 2000, Naveen also highlighted central neglect to Odisha.He blamed the Centre for low tele-intensity in Odisha, poor railway, banking and highways networks.“It is in the 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,” Naveen said justifying state’s demand for special tag.The chief minister also criticised the Centre for neglecting Odisha in industrial corridor, coal royalty, drinking water grants and cutting of funds for Koraput-Balangir-Kalahandi regions.

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