Odisha Channel Bureau
Bhubaneswar: Blaming the Central government for failing to carry out development work in the State, Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik demanded financial autonomy for Odisha here on Wednesday.
Addressing a gathering on the occasion of the 21st Foundation Day of the BJD at the party headquarters, Patnaik said the state will not need special category status or central grants if financial autonomy is given.
“We neither want special state category status nor special financial assistance from the Centre. The development of Odisha would be taken up with the people’s money. Give us financial autonomy,” said Patnaik.
The Chief Minister targeted the Narendra Modi Government by taking up several issues including the National Highway project, railways, coal royalty revision, banking network, minimum support price for paddy, special category tag, SC/ST development, and 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and State Legislatures.
On rail projects, Patnaik said that the State had allocated land for the Khordha-Balangir railway line and sanctioned half of the project cost, but the project has not made any progress yet.
Stating that the annual revenue turnover of the Railways in Odisha was Rs. 20,000 crore, Patnaik pointed out that the revenue share of the State was only Rs. 2,000 crore.
Criticising the poor BSNL mobile network in Odisha, Patnaik said people have to go to treetops or rooftops of buildings to get the mobile network in the State.
Criticising the demonetisation, the Chief Minister said that the people were harassed when they were made to stand in long queues outside banks following the decision of the Centre.
As regards the Centre’s Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, Patnaik said that the scheme was a failure in Odisha as the beneficiaries were not able to afford the high cost in refilling the LPG cylinder.