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Why using achievement to deny status: Govt

Bhubaneswar: The state government today said its economic achievements should not be used against the state for denying special category status. "The fact that the state has been performing well in the last decade in terms of growth and poverty reduction should not be used against the government for denying special category status," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said.

Patnaik`s statement came a day after Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia said the panel was not considering any proposal to accord special category state status to Odisha now. "At 9 per cent growth why do you need special category state status," Ahluwalia asked while replying a question here on Friday at the celebration of the Nalco`s Foundation Day.

In his speech there, Chief Secretary B K Patnaik had said the state`s GDP was 9 per cent, more than the national average and Odisha had also reduced poverty by 10 per cent. In reaction to Ahluwalia`s remark, the chief secretary said: "Growth at the rate of 9 per cent in not sufficient. Ye dil maange more."

The chief minister said Odisha should continue to accelerate the growth process in order to achieve more development through increased central funding. Alleging that the Centre sanctioned less assistance to Odisha under the Backward Region Grant Funds in comparison to other states, Patnaik said it should continue the ongoing Revised Long Term Action Plan for the development of the poverty stricken KBK (Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput) region.

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