Expand MGNREGA probe to 30 districts:Congress

Bhubaneswar: The Pradesh Congress Committee has sought special economic package for the state from the Union government. The state Congress placed the demand to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when he visited the Congress Bhawan in the state capital today after unveiling the 99th Indian Science Congress.

The Congress too has requested the Prime Minister to hike the allocations provided to KBK region by the Planning Commission and to increase the Central assistance scheduled caste and scheduled tribe infested underdeveloped districts. While providing the funds, the memorandum said, the Centre should also strongly monitor the implementation of the programmes and utilisation of funds as well.

The Congress demanded that the scope of the probe into MGNREGA irregularities should be expanded to all the 30 revenue districts instead of just five districts at present. The party too has demanded CBI inquiries into coal, mining, dal and land scams. The demands also included increase in royalty on mineral resources especially coal and iron ore. The party has demanded special benches of the High Court for southern and western Odisha.

Chief minister Naveen Pattanaik too gave a memorandum to the Prime Minister demanding special category state status for the state. Naveen too demanded that the Centre must approve the 50 percent tax proposed by the state government on the proceeds of profit from profit making mining companies. The reaction of the Prime Minister to the demands by the two rival parties could not be known before he left for New Delhi.