**Bhubaneswar: ** As 15th Finance Commission Chairman Nand Kishore Singh along with other members are on their Odisha visit since yesterday in a bid to have wide-ranging consultations with the State Government and all stakeholders here, today the political parties, urban local bodies (ULBs), three-tier Panchayati Raj representatives and representatives from industry presented their memorandum respectively.
In her reactions, Sundargarh Zilla Parishad chairperson Emma Ekka said, “In the capacity of Zilla Parishad chairperson, I proposed that funds from the CFC should be granted to Zilla Parishad as it is the apex body in the three-tier Panchayati Raj system and the expectations of the people is obviously more. Due to paucity of funds, we are unable to fulfill the demands of the people.”
“I’ve demanded that the amount of funds being sanctioned to the Gram Panchayat (GP), same proportionate should also be sanctioned to the Panchayat Samiti and Zilla Parishad so that the developmental lapses could be made up,” she argued.
BJD spokesperson Amar Patnaik told media, “We had our submissions today from our Biju Janata Dal party. We today put forth our longstanding demand for special category status because it will allow State to receive 90% assistance from the Central Government and the State’s share will be 10%.”
“The second demand is Tax Vertical Revolution. We have demanded 50% instead of 42% as had been said by 14th Finance Commission. In the last three Finance Commissions, our State has been loser. So we have suggested that per capita income distance from all India average or a leading State should be taken as criteria,” he informed.
Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) in its memorandum has proposed for ‘Statutory Body for funding on Natural Calamities’, ‘Restoration of Population Discipline Benchmark of 1971’, ‘Regional Disparity warrants consideration’, ‘Consider Infrastructure Index as a Criterion’, ‘Include Cess and Surcharges to the Divisible Pool of Resources’, ‘Reverse the Decline in Share of Odisha’, ‘Consider Horizental Transfer on St& SC concentration criteria’, Statutory Body to address Farmer’s Distress’, Provide more funds to States with Low Human Development Index’.
The memorandum was presented by OPCC vice-presidents Kailash Acharya and Ganeswar Behera.
Odisha Byabasayee Mahasangha also presented its 8-point charter memorandum.
IMFA MD & FICCI Odisha State Council chairman Subhrakant Panda said, “Our representation to the Commission is how to properly harness the natural resources for the growth of Odisha. Our suggestion was also that importance should be given to value addition. How mineral-based industries could be globally competitive should be given stress. Hence, the taxes, duties, cess, etc are charged should be at par with the international standard.”
“Our major focus is also on proper infrastructure like rail, roads, ports, etc and improvement of logistical capability. Thus, the major projects of Government of Odisha, like Kalinganagar Steel Hub should be converted to a National Industrial Manufacturing Zone or East Coast Economic Corridor, Sagarmala Project or PCPR Complex and they should be given proper budgetary support. With that support the economic activity of Odisha will more improve and grow and it will be good for the people,” he stated.
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