CM Naveen puts forth slew of demands before 15th Finance Commission

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today presented before the 15th Finance Commission a slew of demands while suggesting an increase in tax devolution from 42% to 50% and cess and surcharges as part of the divisible pool here.

During a meeting with 15th Finance Commission Chairman NK Singh and members of the commission, the CM suggested the 1971 population should be used as devolution criteria.

Some other major suggestions he presented before the Commission include- extension of GST compensation for another 10 years, utilization of the Clean Energy Cess in coal mining areas.

The CM also requested to provide a package for disaster management of Rs 1,500 crore to build more cyclone shelters and improve the warning systems.

Patnaik further demanded special category status for Odisha while alleging the Centre of being negligent towards the State in various sectors. “Odisha faces natural calamities every alternate year. It is in this premise of historic Central neglect and frequent natural calamities that my government has been demanding Special category status for Odisha which will supplement our efforts in transforming the State,” he said.

He also alleged that the successive Central government, unfortunately, have ensured that the State remains at the bottom in tele-intensity, railway network, banking and highways.

Besides, the State has been neglected in establishment of industrial corridor, coal royalty and drinking water and irrigation and cutting off funds for scheduled areas and KBK, the CM stated.

“We have submitted a memorandum to the Commission and I am hopeful that the Commission will incorporate all our suggestions and aid in the rapid progress of Odisha,” Patnaik said.

The Finance Commission led by Chairman N.K. Singh is on a four-day visit to the state to hold detailed meetings with the state government.