Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 3:
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today sought a special assistance of Rs 3,500 crore for the state through the Niti Aayog during his meeting with Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi.
“I had a meeting with the Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley today. I urged him to earmark a minimum of Rs 3,500 crore as special assistance for Odisha through the Niti Aayog. I also asked him to enhance central allocation under key schemes like Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP), Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA)”, Patnaik told newsmen in New Delhi after his meeting with the Union Minister.
Patnaik said the state would suffer a net loss of Rs 2,149 crore in 2015-16 on account of reduction in central assistance vis-a-vis increase in devolution.
Even though the share of states in the net proceeds of sharable central taxes has been increased to 42 per cent from the level of 32 per cent, the share of Odisha is 4.642 per cent of the divisible pool, down from 4.779 per cent.
Odisha is set to lose Rs 4,600 crore from 2015-16 to 2019-20 owing to the revised criteria adopted by the Commission for horizontal transfer of funds according to the state government’s calculation, said Patnaik.
Union Finance Minister Jaitley assured Patnaik that the just demands of the State would be looked into favourably.
Jaitley said the NITI Aayog is presently looking into all these issues including the funding pattern under the ongoing schemes and restoration of key Area Development Programmes such as the IAP for LWE affected areas and BRGF. He stated that the Union government is also actively considering Special Assistance for KBK districts.
The Union Minister informed that finality is yet to be arrived at regarding the funding pattern and key flagship programmes.
The Union Finance Minister assured that the department of Expenditure will carefully look into the net additional liability suffered by Odisha on account of reduction of Central Assistance for State Plan and that additional financial assistance will be provided to Odisha after evaluation of the state’s requirements.