Sitharaman puts Posco ball in Odisha govt court

Odisha Sun Times Bureau

Bhubaneswar, May 24;

Union Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today sought to put the blame for the uncertainty over the Posco mega steel plant on the Odisha government.

sitharaman presser

“It is the state government that has to decide whether they want the plant or not,” Sitharaman said when asked about the long-delayed project at a press conference here today to mark the first year of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.

The Union minister also rejected outright the Odisha government charge that the state had got a raw deal in the 14th Finance Commission awards.

“How can they say that? With the enhancement of state’s share from 38% to 42%, the state is set to get Rs 1, 12, 677 crores more in the next five years. The Finance Commission gave its recommendations after consulting all state governments, including Odisha. So the charge that the state was not consulted does not have legs to stand on,” Sitharaman said.

The senior BJP leader said Odisha would be the biggest beneficiary of the e auction of minerals, including coal, and is set to receive enhanced income of nearly Rs 2 lakh crores in the next five years.

She said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given a corruption-free, transparent and accountable government to the country in the last one year.

“There was a scam almost every day during UPA II. In contrast, there has not beeen a single case of big-ticket corruption in the one year of the Modi government,” she pointed out.

Sitharaman said all the promises made in the general election manifesto will be fulfilled.

She said Modi government has successfully launched a number of pro-people and pro-poor schemes like Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, Atal Pension Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Surakshya Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Beema Yojana.

She said the government has brought transparency in coal block auction and e-auction of minerals and it is wholeheartedly working for the farmers.

Nirmala said Congress party has lost the credibility to criticize the Narendra Modi government. .

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