BHUBANESWAR: In a bid to cater to the growing aspirations of MLAs, the State Government on Monday appointed nine ruling party legislators as chairpersons of District Planning Committees (DPCs) within a fortnight of amending the Odisha Offices of Profit (Removal of Disqualifications) Act, 1961.
The chairpersons of DPCs will get Minister of State status. The State Government formally announced names of the chairpersons after approval by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. More such appointments are expected in the coming days as sources in the BJD ruled out a reshuffle in the Ministry in the near future.
While former minister and Lanjigarh MLA Balabhadra Majhi has been appointed as chairperson of Kalahandi DPC, Bhatli MLA Susanta Singh will be the chief of Bargarh DPC. Parjang MLA Nursingha Charan Sahu has been appointed as chairperson of Dhenkanal district. Other law makers who have been appointed as DPCs are Balikuda-Ersama MLA Prasanta Kumar Muduli (Jagatsinghpur), Berhampur MLA Ramesh Chandra
Chau Patnaik (Ganjam), Patana MLA Hrushikesh Naik (Keonjhar), Nabarangpur MLA Manohar Randhari (Nabarangpur), Jaydev MLA Sashi Bhusan Behera (Khurda) and Pallahara MLA Mahesh Sahu (Angul).
The proposal to amend the Odisha Offices of Profit (Removal of Disqualifications) Act, 1961, which paved the way for MLAs to be appointed as DPCs, was approved by the State Cabinet in its meeting on January 16.
The State Government in the last Assembly session had passed the Odisha District Planning Committees (amendment) Bill, 2015, which has provisions for MLAs to head the DPCs. However, it could not be implemented due to some technical difficulties. Earlier, the DPCs were being headed by ministers only.
The Act was amended to remove the provision of disqualification of MLAs on the ground of office of profit.