Naveen Patnaik BJD President

Naveen Gives Thumbs Up To Ministers

BHUBANESWAR: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday gave the pass mark to all the ministers for performing well throughout the year.

“I am happy with the overall progress made. We are definitely moving towards achieving our promises. I am happy to note that most of the Departments have done exceedingly well, in some areas we have to improve,” said the Chief Minister, who recently reviewed the performance of different departments.

He said Odisha is the only state in the country to adopt the manifesto as the agenda for governance on the day the government assumed office.

He said in spite of a change in fund share pattern by the centre; the government had made stupendous achievements on the priorities of the government.

“We have created a national record in providing shelter security to more than a million households, and I am sure we will cross the 2.3 million target,” he added.

He said commissioning of mega-lifts and other efforts had led to the creation of 3 lakh hectares of additional irrigation.

“We have substantially increased our investment in irrigation and are moving towards the target of one million hectares of capacity addition. We have also made the effective rate of interest to 1% for crop loans to benefit small and medium farmers,” said the Chief Minister.

He said electrification of 11.5 lakh households including 3 lakh BPL families has been facilitated and the construction of 500 new substations is in full swing.

In record time, we could set up 100 Odisha Adarsh Vidyalaya, and it’s heartening to note that more than 30,000 children from rural areas from some of the most backward blocks have been enrolled in this quality education initiative.

The Chief Minister, however, expressed his displeasure over the change in fund share pattern.

“Most of the Central Government schemes which used to be in the 90:10 sharing pattern have been changed to 60:40 or 50:50. This change in fund sharing will benefit developed States and deprive the not so developed the Eastern States including Odisha,” he added.

“The rising trends of cess and surcharges further deprive our State from the due share in Central taxes. The service tax which was 12.36% in 2014 has now effectively become 15% (inclusive of surcharges and cess). This will further increase prices, putting a heavy burden on the common man,” said the Chief Minister.