Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 1:
The Odisha cabinet today approved the proposal to issue an ordinance to prevent land grab in the state.
Briefing reporters after the cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the state secretariat this afternoon, chief secretary GC Pati said the ordinance will provide for criminal prosecution of land grabbers, which could end in imprisonment of up to seven years.
The cabinet also gave its nod to the amendment of Odisha Apartment Ownership Act, 1982, which would bring all apartments under its purview. Only high-rise apartments came under the purview of the Act earlier.
The amended act, to be moved in the next session of the Assembly, would have provision to protect the interests of apartment owners. An officer of deputy collector rank would be appointed for the purpose, Pati said. The amended act would also have higher penalty for violation of the Act, which could go up to a maximum of Rs 1 lakh, he added.
Another major decision taken by the cabinet today was the approval of the paddy procurement policy, which would target collection of 30 lakh tonnes of paddy in 2014-15. While normal paddy would be procured from farmers at Rs 1360 per quintal, Grade I paddy would be procured at Rs 1400 per quintal, food and consumer affairs secretary Madhusudan Padhi said.
Among the other decisions taken by the cabinet today was the proposal to reduce the tenure of the Burla NAC, which is set to be merged with the proposed Sambalpur corporation, and construction of 1500 km of roads on river and canal banks in the next five years.