Naveen reiterates demand for SCS tag at NITI Aayog meet

New Delhi: Stepping up its effort to acquire the special category state (SCS) status, Odisha today once again put forth its long-standing demand at the governing council meeting of NITI Aayog here.

Attending the meet, chief minister Naveen Patnaik also presented the development picture of Odisha under his leadership.

“I demanded the same status at par with north eastern and Himalayan states as Odisha has high percentage of poor, free electricity to all eligible BPL families. I have also submitted a proposal to increase minimum support price of paddy to benefit our farmers”, Patnaik told newsmen after the conference.

This apart, the chief minister also demanded a hike in coal cess. Describing the State achievements under his governance, he said the State government has successfully constructed 10 lakh pucca houses in two years and has set a target to complete construction of 19 lakh pucaa houses for poor by 2019. Odisha has become model State in development aspect, he pointed out.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who chaired the meet, sought States’ cooperation for the vision of ‘New India’.
Addressing the conference, Modi also said the think-tank’s long, medium and short term action plans would benefit all the states.

“Niti Aayog is working on a 15-year long term vision, seven-year medium term strategy, and three-year action agenda,” he told the meeting, which was attended by chief ministers, union ministers and senior officials.
The prime minister further said the vision of ‘New India’ can only be realised through the combined efforts and cooperation of all the states.

“Team India” has assembled here to discuss and reflect on ways to prepare the country for changing global trends, Modi said.