Onus For Odisha’s Special Status Demand On Centre: Finance Panel
Bhubaneswar: The 15th Finance Commission has said that a decision on the demand by Odisha and some other states for special category status should be taken by the Centre.
“The grant of special category status does not constitute part of the mandate of the 15th Finance Commission and remains entirely in the domain of the Union government, which can take an appropriate decision after due consideration,” the Commission said in its interim report.
“However, the issue of balanced and inclusive development of all states requires a more detailed assessment and will be fully addressed in the final report,” it added.
Notably, the Odisha government had made the demand to Commission members during their four-day visit to the state in January.
The government had requested the Commission to recommend a 90:10 funding pattern in centrally-sponsored schemes for Odisha at par with North Eastern and Western Himalayan states.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had also raised the issue of special category state status for Odisha. Noting that the state’s transformation has been remarkable and growth inclusive, the CM had said, “Unfortunately, successive Central governments have ensured that Odisha remains at the bottom in tele-intensity, railway network, banking and highways.”
The state government had submitted a memorandum to the Commission seeking assistance of Rs 824,644 crore for five years beginning from 2020. The government also demanded that devolution of Central taxes to the states should be increased from 42% to 50%.
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