Naveen hits hard at Centre on Rly budget cut

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday accused the Central government of neglecting the state in releasing sufficient funds for rail infrastructure development in the state.

“The Centre is receiving Rs 7,500 crore from the state as revenue every year but not even spending 10% of the amount in the development of rail infrastructure,” said Naveen Patnaik.

“In addition, it is painful that of the Rs 750 crore sanctioned in this year’s budget for state rail projects, it has slashed about Rs 280 crore in three phases. This will certainly affect the big ongoing projects,” rued Patnaik.

Addressing party activists on the occasion of Biju Janata Dal’s (BJD) 15th foundation day, the party supremo said the state was losing crores of rupees due to the Centre’s delay in revising mineral royalty. “Also the Central government is heedless about the state’s prolonged demand to levy tax on super normal profits of mine owners,” added Patnaik.

The BJD chief attacking the Congress-led UPA government said despite several appeals the Centre was yet to accord special status tag to Odisha. “The indifferent attitude of the Centre in according special status to the state is a cause of concern for the state,” Patnaik said.

Notably the Rajya Sabha standing committee on commerce had recommended to provide special category status to Odisha and two other states in its demands of grant reports for 2012-13, tabled on April 30 this year, for the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) under the Union commerce ministry.

The special category status, currently enjoyed by Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and north eastern states entitles a state to get special financial package from Centre for upliftment of several sectors including industries.