Bhubaneswar, Nov 27:
The state Cabinet on Wednesday approved the launch of Sabuja Odisha Mission. which aims to plant 44.52 crore saplings. Out of the total plantation, 28.92 crore saplings would be planted by the Forest department under various schemes while the rest 15.60 crore would be distributed among various communities.
Briefing newsmen after the meeting, presided over by chief minister Naveen Patnaik at the State Secretariat here, chief secretary JK Mohapatra said the total outlay for the scheme is pegged at Rs 1763.52 crore of which Rs 438.20 crore would be provided under the State Plan of the Forest and Environment department and the rest Rs 1325.32 crore would be mobilised through convergence of Finance Commission grants, CAMPA, MGNREGS and other Central schemes.
During the current fiscal, a budgetary provision of Rs. 85.40 crore has been allocated in the Forest and Environment department, he said.
The other major proposal approved at the cabinet meeting today was the launch of a new programme known as Canal Lining and System Rehabilitation Programme (CLSRP) this year at a cost of Rs 1000 crore to irrigate 3 lakh hectares of land in five years, Mohapatra said.
The new scheme is designed to cover 22 canal systems in 8 major projects, 19 medium projects and 214 minor irrigation projects, he said.
The chief secretary said that the state government had taken up the scheme after observing that the benefit of flow irrigation could not be optimized as the main canal and distribution system was found incapable of carrying design discharge due to huge loss in conveyance.
The new scheme would be funded by the state government from State Plan resources. The state government would explore the possibility of Central assistance for the scheme under National Water Mission and Climate Change Action Plan later, he said.
The Cabinet approved the amendment to the Odisha Medical and Health Services Rules, which would allow recruitment of medical officers on the basis of a written test and career marking in a 70:30 ratio.
The Cabinet also approved the amendment in the Diploma Services Rules. Under the new system, the recruitment of diploma engineers would be conducted by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC). The cabinet also decided to relax the age limit for aspiring diploma engineers by allowing them three chances to appear in the test.
The Cabinet also approve an amendment to the Forest Service Recruitment Act for the appointment of Assistant Forest Conservators Under the new amendment, two-thirds of appointment would be made through promotion while one-third would be made through direct recruitment.
Among the 16 proposals approved by the cabinet today were a decision to bring Bhawanipatna, Paralakhemundi and Keonjhar engineering colleges under Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT) by amending the BPUT Act and reduction of VAT on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) and AVGAS to 5 percent to give a fillip to the aviation sector in the state and make air transport affordable. The subsidy will be given for five years. Presently, the state gets annual revenue of Rs 27 crore from ATF.
The proposals approved at the cabinet meeting will be be placed for the approval of the Assembly during the winter session beginning on Thursday.