BJD MP reiterates demand for Special Focus State status to Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Amidst the din Rajya Sabha today, BJD MP Sasmit Patra reiterated Odisha Government’s demand for Special Focus State status to the state.

During the Zero Hour, Patra said natural disasters like cyclone and flood frequently hit Odisha, adversely affecting the economy of the State. Hence, there is a need to provide Special Focus State Status to the state which would help develop its infrastructure, after being ravaged by a natural disaster.

Under the Special Focus State status, the Government of India should change the financial sharing pattern of Government programmes between the Centre and the State for a period of three years from the date of incidence of a natural disaster, the MP said suggesting that the sharing pattern be change from the present 60:40 ratio to 90:10 ratio between the Centre and the State.

“Government programmes have a sharing pattern of 60:40 ratio in which 60% funds are provided by Centre and 40% by State. If the State’s administrative cost for running such programmes is added, then the ratio comes to 50:50 between the Centre and the State. But when a natural disaster strikes Odisha, this sharing pattern should be changed to 90:10 with 90% by Centre and 10% by State for a period of three years in order to expedite the infrastructural development and rebuilding of the affected regions of the State,” he stressed.

The Parliamentarian further highlighted various issues in the KBK region comprising the undivided districts of Kalahandi, Balangir and Koraput, where there is a need for increasing the banking density, tele-density and internet-connectivity. All of these regions also need additional support and assistance by the Centre, he stated.

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