Decks cleared for over 500 new panchayats

Bhubaneswar: The State Cabinet meeting under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday approved a proposal for necessary amendment to the Gram Panchayat Act to facilitate creation of more than 500 panchayats in Odisha.

Sources said the number of panchayats in the State will increase by around 500 to 600 with the Cabinet decision today in keeping with the ruling party’s promise in 2014 poll manifesto that there would be one panchayat for every 1,000 population.

Besides, reservations for panchayat will be decided in one term as compared to two terms earlier after the amendment to the Gram Panchayat Act,

A proposal from the Health department on setting up of a health university got the Cabinet nod, said sources.

All medical colleges of the State will function under the new health univerrsity. Counselling, registration, administration and internal examinations will be managed by the new university, the sources added.

A proposal from the Housing and Urban Development department on amendment to the Bihar Odisha Places of Pilgrimage Act was approved at the cabinet meeting. As per the decision, the Puri Collector will henceforth look after the lodging of ‘Habisyalis’ visiting Puri instead of the RDC, the sources said.

The sources further stated that a proposal from the General Administration department on recruitment of established sportspersons at Group-B government jobs and PSUs organizations also got the Cabinet approval.

A proposal from the Cooperative department for Cash Credit of Rs 15 crore to the Aska sugar factory was approved by the Cabinet, the sources added.

A total of six proposals got the Cabinet approval. As the second phase of the budget session of the Assembly is going on, no official announcement was made about the decision taken during the Cabinet meeting which lasted more than half an hour since 9.30 am today.