• 15th Finance Commission meets Representatives of PRI, ULB, Trade & Industry bodies
  • PRI, ULBs should get a part of financial devolution to make them self-sufficient
  • Commission favours powers to PRI, ULBs for levying property tax
  • Odisha’s mineral resources, capability still under-utilised
  • State nowhere near reaching its true growth potential

Bhubaneswar: The 15th Finance Commission lamented that Odisha is nowhere near reaching its true growth potential. The Commission pointed out that Odisha is not able to utilize its huge mineral resources.

The Commission felt that it was ironic that with 72% of India’s mineral resources, manufacturing sector in Odisha was still very moderate. This has resulted in low job creation.

The 15th Finance Commission had a detailed meeting with the representatives of the trade and industries representatives of Odisha, here on Tuesday.  

The Commissioin viewed that some but deeper changes in the regulatory framework, combined with improved infrastructure and logistics are needed to make the state truly competitive.

The Finance Commission which also met the representatives of the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and the Urban Local Bodies(ULBs) unanimously opined that all the three tiers of Panchayati Raj Institutions must get a part of the financial devolution. It was felt that enhancing revenue capabilities was essential to their viability. The Commission was concerned that levying of property tax is still not allowed – it deserved  priority along with other measures to make the PRIs and ULBs self sufficient, felt the Commission.

Hailing the women empowerment in the state, the Commission noted 10 of 16 representatives of the PRIs and ULBs were women – actual representation even beyond legislated 50%.

The Commission is of the opinion that the state of Odisha has a great future given political stability and other factor endowments.