Naveen rakes up SCS demand for Odisha at NDC meet

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday urged the United Progressive Alliance government to accord special category status (SCS) to Odisha at the 57th National Development Council (NDC) meeting in New Delhi.
Reiterating the demand, which Patnaik has been making since he became the Chief Minister of Odisha in March 2000, said that the Government of India was yet to consider SCS tag for the state though it satisfied most of the criteria for the tag except that it does not have an international boundary.

According to an official release, to strengthen his demand Patnaik stressed on the high concentration of ST & SC population in the state which has adverse socio-economic and human development indicators with per capita about two-third of the national average.  

The Chief Minister pointing out delay in the implementation of mineral royalty policies, said that mineral rich states have not been able to reap full benefits of their endowments because of distortions in mineral royalty policies.

“Due to prolonged efforts by mineral bearing states, the royalty rates have been shifted to an ad valorem regime, but the impact of this change has been dented by an artificially low price of minerals as determined by the IBM,” the release said.

Patnaik at the meeting suggested that in addition to the upward revision of royalty rates in tandem with market prices of minerals, there should be a Mineral Resources Rent Tax to be charged at 50% of the surplus rent.