Relevance of SCS status to Odisha has been lost: Panagariya

Bhubaneswar: NITI Aayog vice chairman Arvind Panagariya on Saturday said there is no relevance of special category state status for Odisha in the present scenario as the new policy on resources division between the Centre and States benefits the later the most.

After a meeting with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at Naveen Nivas here, Panagariya told media persons, “The way the 14th Finance commission approached the finances, there is no relevance of SCS status left for Odisha within this context. The grant, that used to be associated with the special category tag, has now been subsumed in the division of the resources by the Finance Commission between Centre and States.”

Panagariya added, “Every time there is a new finance commission and they have different formula for devolution of funds. There are two issues – how much money goes from the Centre to the states taken together and distribution of the pie across the States. These days transfer of resources from the Centre to the States is getting larger. It‘s a horizontal distribution as per the present Finance Commission.”

Elaborating on his meeting with the Chief Minister, Panagariya added, “We talked about land leasing laws. I also suggested to the CM as in other states, Odisha should think about digitizing revenue records and then do proper survey of land so that property rights of farmers could be defined.”