MLAs can head dist planning boards, WODC now

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Cabinet on Saturday approved a proposal to amend the Office of Profit Act expanding the scope for MLAs to be appointed to various government bodies. The State government will issue an Ordinance to this effect.

With today’s decision, MLAs can now become chairmen, vice-chairmen of State and district planning boards and the Western Odisha Development Council (WODC).

Slamming the Cabinet decision on amendment to the Office of Profit Act, Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra said, “There is an intra-party fighting in BJD and the chief minister is searching for a solution to it. With this amendment some BJD MLAs, who have not managed to become ministers will be rehabilitated with chairman or some other post. Therefore, they have dropped the appointments from the Office of Profit Act.”

Echoing similar views, State BJP president Basant Panda said, “In the BJD, there is a growing resentment and displeasure among themselves. To somehow mitigate the resentment, today’s decision has been taken and the BJD MLAs will get the benefits. I don’t think in any way the decision is going to help the State.”

Refuting the charges, BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb said, “The Opposition will always talk about negative things. But the goal of the State government is different.”

Deb further stated, “The local MLAs will be able to plan and implement the government programmes better at the district level with today’s decision. Besides, with Collectors, local MLAs would work to expedite the implementation.”

Five proposals were approved in the Cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Naveen Patnaik.

Among other proposals, the State government has decided to take over seven police high schools in Balasore, Angul, Baripada, Keonjhar, Cuttack, Puri and Rourkela. The takeover will cost the state government Rs 10.32 lakhs.

The cabinet also approved a proposal to appoint supervisors of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) through the staff selection commission.