Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda on Monday expressed happiness over Finance minister Arun Jaitley’s announcement regarding the Centre’s thrust on the shipping sector, waterways and port-led economic development through project Sagarmala.

"We are planning to develop new greenfield ports both in the eastern and western coasts of the country. The work on the National Waterways is also being expedited. Rs 800 crore has been provided for these initiatives," Jaitley had said while tabling the Budget for the 2016-17 fiscal in Parliament today.

The Sagarmala project has already been rolled out, he said, adding that government has initiated a series of steps to modernise and expand the capacity of its 12 major ports.

Under its ambitious Sagarmala project, the government is looking to mobilise at least Rs 10 lakh crore investment, including Rs 4 lakh crore in the infrastructure sector alone, the Finance minister said.

Welcoming Jaitley’s announcement, Panda said, “The Sagarmala project will certainly help coastal states like Odisha.”

“The Centre’s proposal to spend Rs 100 crore on the birth centenary observations of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay is a welcome step. It would have been better, had some allocation been proposed for the birth centenary celebration of Biju Patnaik, which is going to be observed very soon,” Panda said.