'Will continue our fight'
By Express News Service | Published: 27th September 2013 12:52 PM |
The Raghuram Rajan committee has raised serious questions on the development of the state during the last decade by placing Odisha at the top of the list of the ‘least developed’ states thereby putting the BJD Government in an embarrassing situation.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, however, announced that the BJD will continue to fight for the just demand of special category state status as the committee report does not have any mention of it. “Unfortunately we find that while Odisha has been categorised as least developed State, the special category status has not been accorded to us,” Naveen said and announced that the fight for the just cause will continue.
The State Government has been demanding special category status for the last 40 years. These include central allocation on 90:10 basis and tax exemptions for new investments. “The UPA Government and Congress leaders gave the impression that the Rajan committee will address the issue,” Naveen said.
Much to the embarrassment, the committee report has put Odisha on the top of the list of ‘least developed’ state with an underdevelopment/need index of 0.798. Odisha is ahead of states like Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam in the list of least developed states.
The Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) was quick to take advantage of the report in criticising the state government for Odisha’s backwardness despite claims to the contrary. The report has established that inspite of heavy inflow of central funds, Odisha remains most underdeveloped because of the incompetence of the State Government, Congress media cell chairman and former minister Narsingh Mishra said.
Stating that the report will go a long way in helping inflow of more Central funds to Odisha, Mishra said that the State Government should aim at getting maximum Central assistance instead of making unnecessary anti-Centre noise. The former minister said that the Government should now take everybody’s help for the development of Odisha and put an end to the anti-Centre attitude.
Countering the Congress allegations, Finance Minister Prasanna Acharya said that the per capita income of the state has grown, but still it is less than the national average. Odisha has developed during the last 10 years, but the state needs more funds to develop further, he said.