Bhubaneswar: The Odisha chief minister, Naveen Patnaik, Thursday demanded for revision of coal royalty, special category state status and wanted restoration of central assistance for special KBK plan, IAP and BRGF districts, hike of the Centre s share in the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).
Patnaik was discussing with the Niti Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar, who called on him, here on Thursday.
The chief minister also demanded for opening of bank branches in 4376 un-banked gram panchayats in the state. During the discussion, Patnaik urged Rajiv Kumar to expand mobile network in 11,200 villages and broadband connectivity in the left wing extremism-hit districts of the state.
The Central government has stopped central assistance for special plan for poverty stricken KBK (Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput) region, allocation under integrated action plan (IAP) and backward region grant fund (BRGF) for underdeveloped districts.
While demanding for restoration of the schemes, Pantaik also demanded a hike in the Centre s share in the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) from 75 per cent to 90 per cent with effect from July 1, 2017.
Stating that there is a need to relax norms under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana for 38 LWE-hit blocks in the state, the chief minister demanded adequate funds for development and maintenance of national highways in the state. He also emphasised on speedy completion of railway projects in the state.
Patnaik suggested that the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana, modeled on the lines of Odisha s flagship MAMTA scheme, needs certain modifications for wider coverage of beneficiaries.
Demanding that the Amritsar-Kolkata industrial corridor may be extended up to Visakhapatnam to connect it to deep water ports, he said it would also facilitate strategic link between various industrial corridors of the country
He also suggested that there should be advance intimation of the annual allocation for the central sponsored scheme.
The Niti Aayog vice chairman, Rajiv Kumar, later told media persons that the objective of the meeting was to convince the chief minister to make the Aayog their medium of communication with the Centre so that the state’s problems are properly addressed.
Stating that there are 9-10 important issues, Kumar said some related to Odisha and the Centre and there were some others like the coal royalty, which concerns some other states. It would be looked into separately.
About the Central government programme for upliftment of 150 backward districts in the country, Rajiv Kumar said that the state can propose the districts it want to be included in the list. There was a discrepancy in selecting districts in the state as the Centre had not consulted the state on the matter. As a protest the state government did not participated in the meeting convened to start the programme.