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Naveen gives slew of suggestions to 15th FC, demands SCS status for State

Bhubaneswar: Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik today put forward a range of suggestions before the 15th Finance Commission while reiterating his demand for special category state (SCS) status and special package to deal with natural calamities.

Highlighting State’s success story on several grounds despite ‘central negligence’, Patnaik during a meeting with Commission Chairman NK Singh and members, suggested increasing tax devolution from 42% to 50%,  making cess and surcharges as part of divisible pool, use of 1971 population as devolution criteria, extension of GST compensation for another 10 years.

“It is in this 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”, Patnaik said.

To deal with natural disasters, he also demanded special package of Rs 1,500 crores for State’s initiatives to built more cyclone shelters and improve warning systems.

“We have submitted a detailed memorandum to the Commission. I am hopeful that the Commission will incorporate all our suggestions and aid in the rapid progress of Odisha”, the CM added.

Claiming State’s growth and transformation are remarkable, Naveen alleged that successive central government has been neglecting the State in tele-intensity, Railway network, Banking, Highways. This negligence was further compounded by neglect in industrial corridor, coal royalty, drinking water and irrigation and providing funds for scheduled areas and KBK.

Highlighting Odisha’s ‘transformation since 2000’, Patnaik underscored his government setting up global benchmark in efficient handling of natural calamities. He also showed up State’s success in agriculture, food security, declining infant mortality rate, reducing poverty and curbing corruption and nepotism.

He also raised his government’s pro-people schemes including State’s own food security policy, Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana, land rights policy for the forest dwellers and programmes for women empowerment.

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