Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday sought a special dispensation from the central government to help the State to catch up with the frontline States.
“The State is burdened with infrastructural gaps and vulnerability to recurring natural calamities. This requires special dispensation from the centre”, Patnaik while interacting with Niti Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar, said.
Earlier NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar had lauded the State government by stating that “Odisha’s per capita income has grown substantially from 2011 to 2020 with the State’s growth rate being higher than the national average”.
The State’s improvement in agriculture and mining along with managing the fiscal deficit below five percent was also appreciated by Kumar.
Odisha has made substantial improvement in the last two decades both in macroeconomic indicators and also in socio-economic indicators; he said highlighting that the State has invested heavily for infrastructure development to emerge as an attractive investment destination in manufacturing and mining Industries.
Welcoming Kumar and his team to Odisha, the Chief Minister said the government is keen to engage with Niti Aayog in a constructive manner in the spirit of cooperative federalism.
Stating that this platform will help in sharing innovative and emerging ideas for development, he said, “We would like to take this opportunity to present various longstanding and emergent developmental issues requiring the support of NITI Aayog and Government of India.”
The State’s development interventions have been successful in combating Left Wing Extremism, mobilization and economic empowerment of nearly 70 lakh women through Self Help Groups.
“We have our own health assurance scheme for cashless treatment in empanelled hospitals with wider coverage to reduce out of pocket health expenditure. We are the third-largest contributor to the PDS rice pool of the Country. We have pioneered a conditional cash transfer system for pregnant women and lactating mothers”, Patnaik said.
Kumar suggested the State government improve its mining production from one percent to more than two per cent, establishment of a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) monitoring unit, switching to chemical-free agriculture.
Stating that every state has its own priorities and specificity, Kumar said the Niti Aayog is keen to partner with Odisha for developing a State Specific Development Blueprint for the State.