Centre To Consider Odisha’s ‘Special Status’ Demand

A decision on Odisha’s much needed ‘special status’ will be taken by the Centre, as confirmed by the 15th Finance Commission. Justifying the move, the commission has said that the demand by some states for special category status remains entirely in the domain of the Union Government.

“Some states have requested the grant of special category status. This 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. 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”,

said an official.

The government had requested the commission to recommend the funding pattern of 90:10 in centrally sponsored schemes for Odisha, at par with North Eastern and the Western Himalayan States, after its four-day visit to the state in January.

Commenting on the growth of the state, Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik expressed his grievance,

“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 an assistance of Rs 8,24,644 crore for five years beginning from 2020. The state had also asked the degeneration of the Central taxes to the states should be increased from 42 percent to 50 percent.

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