Jual Oram contests Naveen’s claim

Bhubaneswar: Union minister for Tribal Affairs Jual Oram today said that the State government was politicising the issue of special assistance for States.

Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik today said that the State was a victim of political discrimination by the Centre as the State’s share in the 14th Finance Commission grant was reduced.

The chief minister further said that the state was denied special assistance.

Oram, however, said that special assistances were given to states which faced revenue deficit.

“Why do you not inform the 14th Finance Commission that Odisha’s fiscal situation is bad and it requires special assistance?” Oram said asking Patnaik to read recommendations of the Finance Commission before making anti-Centre remark.

“Odisha government cannot make double talk in this regard. The State government informed the 14th Finance Commission that its economy was growing and the State’s revenue was in good shape, so how can it expect special assistance?” he asked.

Rejecting the allegation that the State’s interests were ignored by the NDA government, Oram said that there was no such policy.

“The States will now have 42 per cent share of the Centre’s resources against 32 per cent previously. Besides, another 5 per cent will directly go to urban local bodies and panchayati raj institutions. Therefore, the States will have 47 per cent share,” Oram said.

This apart, Oram said, Odisha was set to immensely benefit from the auction of coal blocks and iron ore mines.

“I expect that Odisha will get more than Rs 1 lakh crore from these auctions,” he added.