New Delhi: Participating in the 5th Meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi here today, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik sought that natural calamity should be included as a criteria for according Special Category Status to Odisha.
He also proposed that the States hit by major natural calamities may be declared as ‘Special Focus States’ and granted benefits of Special Category Status for a specific period.
Soon after the significant meeting, a press note issued by the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) stated, “Attended the Fifth Meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog under the Chairmanship of Hon’ble Prime Minister. Apprised that Odisha has come a long way from a poverty-stricken State to a State which showed the highest reduction of poverty among major States in a decade. From a food deficient State to a rice surplus State and one of the largest contributors to the Central pool. From a helpless State at the time of disasters to a State which has set global standards in disaster management.”
The Odisha Chief Minister also made some broad suggestions to NITI Aayog Governing Council (Team India).
The suggestions are:
· We must move towards empowering women in all spheres.
· As frequent elections affect development climate, it is better to have simultaneous elections in the country.
· Primary sector especially agriculture has to be always taken care of. Judicious utilisation of water resources holds the key and Second Green Revolution should happen in our dryland areas.
· Environment and economic development should go hand in hand.
· It is time we do a scientific comprehensive survey for beneficiary-oriented schemes.
Informing the NITI Aayog Governing Council (Team India) that the recent cyclone ‘FANI’ has caused massive devastation in Odisha, the Chief Minister proposed that natural calamity should be included as a criteria for according Special Category Status to Odisha.
“As an interim measure, States hit by major natural calamities may be declared as ‘Special Focus States’ and granted benefits of Special Category Status for a specific period,” opined the Odisha Chief Minister.
He also highlighted other key issues as follows:
· PM-KISAN should include landless agriculture households and sharecroppers.
· All irrigation projects which are lying incomplete as on 1st April, 2019 should be included under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY).
· The Union Government should allocate a much higher quantum of resources for watershed, command area development and drinking water.
· There should be a priority component under PMGSY-III to connect habitations with a population of 100 and below.
· The projects need to be expedited to extend rail connectivity to Kandhamal, Nabarangpur and Malkangiri districts.
· Bank facilities should be extended to unbanked Gram Panchayats.
· Bharatnet Project should also be implemented at a faster pace.
· Royalty on coal should be revised from 14% to 20% of sale value.