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Odisha CM reiterates special category status demand

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi, Apr 23:

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today reiterated the state’s longstanding demand for a Special Category status at the NITI Aayog Governing Council meeting held here today.

“I demanded the same fund sharing pattern at par with the Northeastern and Himalayan states as Odisha has a high percentage of poor belonging to SC and ST communities as recommended by the Punchhi Commission,” informed Patnaik to reporters after the NITI Aayog meeting here.

Patnaik urged the Governing Council to earmark 60% of the Clean Environment Cess for coal bearing states.

“I urged the Governing Council to earmark 60% of the Clean Environment Cess for coal-bearing states to address deficiencies of low telecom connectivity and low financial inclusion and lower bank credit and to adopt SECC-2011 to enable us to provide provide free electricity connection to all eligible below poverty line (BPL) households expeditiously,” Patnaik stated.

Patnaik also urged for increasing the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy for benefit of Odisha farmers.

“As you know, our state government has submitted a proposal to increase the minimum support price of paddy for the benefit of our farmers. I raised the issue during this meet,” he added.

The Chief Minister highlighted the state’s model for inclusive growth which has resulted in reducing poverty.

“I told the Governing Council about Odisha’s development model based on inclusive growth has resulted in the highest reduction in poverty among the major states along with significant decline in infant mortality and under-5 mortality,” Patnaik stated.

Patnaik assured the Governing Council that his government will partner with Central government in all issues of national priority and inclusive growth.

“I assured them that Odisha will partner with the Central government in all programmes of national priority and inclusive growth. I informed them that Odisha pays the highest priority to providing shelter security, power for all, good road connectivity, agriculture productivity, enhanced irrigation potential and empowerment of farmers,” he said.