Reported by Chinmaya Dehury/Edited by Sandeep Sahu
Bhubaneswar, Oct 10:
The state cabinet today approved a decision to repeal the existing levy control order of 1982 and bring down the mandatory levy purchase of rice from millers from 75% to 10%.
Briefing media persons after the cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here today, chief secretary Jugal Kishore Mohapatra, however, clarified that the state government may increase or decrease the percentage of levy by notification from time to time. But in no circumstances will the levy procurement 25%, he said.
The government decision to reduce the levy, aimed at free trade of rice and reduction of the surplus carry over stock by OSCSC, will be effected from October 1.
In another major decision, the cabinet also cleared the conversion of VSS Mecial College and Hospital in Burla into a Unitary state university by way of an enactment in state Legislature.
The unitary status will provide the medical college the necessary academic, financial and administrative autonomy and help them excel in the field of medical education research and health care. The university shall be named Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Science and Research, Mohapatra said.
The cabinet also approved a new scheme – State Highways Development Programme (SHDP) – to convert all state highways into two-lane roads by the end of 12thFfive year Plan.
Out of the total length of 4860.21 km of state highways, 2760 km has been improved/ proposed to be improved under different schemes. It is targeted to complete the balanced length of 2158.26 km up to two-lane standard, including widening of existing cross drainage structures and bridges, with an outlay of Rs 3,000crores, the chief secretary revealed.
The cabinet also gave its nod to notifying the Odisha State Urban Water Policy-2013 to provide universal, 24X7 access to potable piped water supply to 106 urban local bodies, including three corporations, at an affordable price.
A planned investment of Rs 4380 crore has been proposed for the purpose over a period of 12 years from 2015 to 2027. All sources including multilateral, bilateral, central, state, institutional and PPP funding shall be sourced to operationalise the investment plan, the chief secretary said.
The policy provides a framework for meeting national service level benchmarks, achieve consumer orientation and to address the issues and challenges of the urban water supply sector. A steering committee headed by the Chief Minister will monitor the implementation of policy frame work.
The cabinet also decided to defer the e-auction process of liquor off and CS shops till an interim stay or disposal of the special leave petition (SLP) or up to end of the financial year 2013-14, whichever is earlier.
The state government has decided to file a SLP challenging the order of Odisha High Court, which has given certain directions to the government on 24 July. Accordingly, the Cabinet had extended the existing system up to October for complying with the directions.
A total of 20 proposals were cleared by the cabinet at its meeting today.