Odisha CM stresses special state status at meeting with NITI Aayog vice-chairman

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik once again stressed the special state status during a meeting with NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar here today.

Patnaik drew attention of Kumar demanding amendment of coal royalty and reimplementation of central assistance for undivided Kalahandi-Balangir-Koraput (KBK), Integrated Action Plan (IAP) and Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF) districts at the meeting held at State Secretariat.

Besides, several issues in interest of Odisha including raising central fund from 75% to 90% under State Natural Disaster Fund, early notification to State regarding annual allocation under various central schemes, no cut-off in the announced allocations, relaxation of rules under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) for the blocks in 38 LWE affected areas, opening of banks in 4376 unbanked villages, mobile network expansion in 11,200 villages and availing broadband connectivity in LWE regions — were discussed at the meeting.

Patnaik also discussed development and maintenance of National Highways in Odisha, expediting railway work, inclusion of Odisha by expanding Amritsar-Delhi-Kolkata Industrial Corridor (AKDIC) upto Vishakhapatnam and adding a number of beneficiaries under Pradhan Mantri Matru Bandana Yojana launched by the Centre.

Patnaik and Kumar also laid emphasis on the proposed “Aspirational Districts” scheme.

Total 115 Aspirational Districts have been proposed in the scheme. Whichever districts they want to add, we will include those to our list. That means that special attention will be given by the central government and the Niti Aayog for the development of Odisha, said NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar while briefing media after meeting with Patnaik.

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