Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 22:

The Mahanadi issue figured in Governor S C Jamir’s budget session address in Odisha Assembly today.

Mahanadi is Odisha’s lifeline and unauthorized construction activity by Chhattisgarh in its upstream has affected the life and livelihood of people of Odisha, the Governor said addressing the Odisha Assembly today.

“Opposing construction of projects upstream of Mahanadi by Chhattisgarh, my government has asked the Centre to resolve the dispute by constituting a river water dispute tribunal. My government is always striving to protect the interests of the people of Odisha,” Jamir said.

“My government is giving top priority to farming and farmers. A special Cabinet for Agriculture is implementing plans and schemes. Irrigation and agricultural production are being emphasized. Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme is operational in the state. Dues of farmers are being transferred to their bank accounts. Moreover, an emphasis is being laid on food supplies and consumer welfare. Apart from the construction of more godowns stress is being laid on agri-insurance. Mobile phones have been provided to farmers for getting farming related information. To meet infrastructural needs in rural areas Critical Gap Fund for District Plan has been started from 2016-17,” the Governor pointed out.

Speaking of economic growth and poverty alleviation Jamir said the state’s gross domestic product (GDP) is up at 6.23% in the last six years.

The per capita income in 2016-17 has increased to Rs 61,678 while it was Rs 47, 632 in 2011-12, he added.

Similarly, the state has registered an economic growth rate of 7.94% in 2016-17 while it had an economic growth rate of 4.61% in 2012-13, he further said.

“Though the effect of demonetization on the economy has not been fully evaluated, the ban on Rs 500 and 1000 currency notes have affected cash transactions. Demonetization in the initial stage had led to economic crisis. It had hit the state’s economy as well as its finances. The decrease in revenue collection in December as compared to previous month is its proof,” the Governor said referring to demonetization and its effect on the state.

On the issue of law and order situation in the state, Jamir said 2016 was by and large peaceful while citing that there had been a decline in Left Wing Extremist (LWE) activities.

He pointed out that in many places in Malkangiri, supporters of Maoists have moved away from the rebels and added that 248 mobile towers have become operational in Maoist-affected areas.

Jamir said to augment the capacity of the police 250 new posts have been created.

The Governor stated that 2271 boys and 339 girls have been rescued under ‘Operation Muskan’.