Cong welcomes committee to examine backward criteria of states

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) on Sunday welcomed the Centre's announcement on formation of a committee for deciding backwardness of states.
Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram yesterday had said in Patna that a high level committee under Raghuram Rajan, Chief Economic Advisor to Government of India, would examine backwardness of states.
"We are confident that Odisha will be accorded Special Category status fulfilling a long standing demand of the people of the state," said OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik.
The OPCC President, however, expressed concern over the misutilisation of Central government funds allegedly by the state's BJD government.
"It is true that UPA Government has been providing substantial funds to Odisha under various Central schemes which unfortunately the state government is not able to utilise properly and fully," Patnaik said.
"Misutilisation of Central funds and using every subterfuge to gain political mileage from Central largesses has become common place in Odisha under the present BJD Government," he alleged.
Stating that the CAG has repeatedly "castigated" the state government for misuse of Central funds, the OPCC leader said that it is time that a high level fast track enquiry is instituted to expose this massive pilferage of public money.
"We have already requested the Prime Minister to announce formation of a fast track enquiry to probe into misutilisation of Central funds in Odisha," Patnaik said.