BHUBANESWAR: Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Dr Arvind Panagariya on Monday said there has been no reduction in Central assistance to Odisha, rather it has been increased.
Funds are transferred to the States as per recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission and it is for the State Governments to decide how much to spend in which scheme, he told mediapersons here.
Inaugurating the three-day Odisha Vikash Conclave here, Dr Panagariya said true empowerment of people can be achieved only when their income level goes up. He suggested that the Centre and State Government must work in tandem to ensure that various schemes and programmes aimed at economic growth of people are implemented in right spirit. He said the best way to enable people to increase their income is to empower them with quality education.
Addressing the conclave, Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said in order to empower the people, Odisha should think of a sustainable economic model instead of a relief-centric one.
Pradhan said relief-centric model can bring temporary happiness but it cannot bring sustainable development. The State should play a role to empower people, he said and added that it should not have only a relief mechanism.
The Union Minister requested the Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman to hold a similar interface with civil society representatives in New Delhi for preparing a roadmap of sustainable development. Dr Panagariya agreed to the proposal.
Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said key challenges must be identified and necessary steps taken accordingly. The conclave was presided by former Information Commissioner Jagadanand.