Govt to announce chairpersons for 18 DPCs in a couple of months

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government, which had recently appointed nine MLAs as the chairpersons of the District Planning Committee (DPC) in nine districts, has planned to announce the name the MLAs for 18 districts in a couple of months.

Since the BJD has no MLA in Nuapada, Jharsuguda and Deogarh districts, the party top brass will decide as to who would be the DPC chairpersons for these districts.

The party, however, has said the ministers would be the DPC chairpersons of these three districts.

“There is a plan to appoint the MLAs as the chairpersons of the DPC in all the districts which will be done in a phased manner. There are three districts where the ministers would be the chairpersons as the party has no elected representative. But as decided by the party, barring these three districts, the MLAs would be the DPC chairpersons in the remaining districts,” BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb told OTV.

He said the DPC chairpersons would be given more powers and delegated bureaucratic powers to ensure doorstep governance for the people in the districts.

Criticising the decision of the state government, BJP leader Pradip Purohit said the BJD supremo and chief minister Naveen Patnaik has come up with well-thought-out plans to rehabilitate the senior leaders who are either being sidelined or ignored by the party. “This will not help the common man in any way,” he pointed out.

Senior Congress leader Tara Prasad Bahinipati said the state government will have to spend a lot of money from the state exchequer towards the appointment of DPC chairpersons who would be accorded the minister of state status.

“How much money the government would spend and from where it would arrange as there is no budget provision on this? This is nothing but a political rehabilitation,” he asserted.

Terming the decision of the government in this regard, the Congress leader said earlier the ministers were visiting the districts in every 3-4 months.

“While these ministers have failed in their efforts for proper functioning of the DPC, who will care for the MLAs?” he asked.

The appointment of the MLAs as DPC chairpersons has been made as per the amendment of the Odisha Office of Profit Act, 1961 which was approved by the State Cabinet on January 16 this year.

As per the newly amended Act, the MLAs can be appointed as the chairperson and vice chairperson of the District Planning Board and chairperson of the State Planning Board. Besides, they can be appointed as the chairperson and vice chairperson of the Western Odisha Development Council (WODC).

Under the newly amended Odisha Office of Profit Act, the MLAs appointed in the aforesaid posts will also continue as the members of the State Assembly.