Patnaik woos rural Odisha; announces sops

Bhubaneswar: In a bid to woo rural Odisha ahead of panchayat election in 2017, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday announced a slew of sops on the occasion of Panchayati Raj Divas.

Patnaik announced the panchayats in the State will get Rs 16,000 crore as per the recommendations of the Finance Commission. Each panchayat will get Rs 20-30 lakh for development work every year. By 2019-20, they will get Rs 55-75 lakh each, the Chief Minister added.

At the state-level celebrations here, the Chief Minister also inaugurated 100 cyclone shelters and 100 drinking water projects by pressing a remote. He also dedicated 100 concrete paddy yards to the people of the State.

Patnaik announced a merger of District Rural Development Projects (DRDA) with Zilla Parishad.

Addressing the gathering, Patnaik said, “The State government has decided to merge the DRDA with the Zill Parishad as the Centre has stopped providing funds to DRDA. The state will allocate money from its own funds to continue development work.”

He also distributed record of rights or patta to landless people under the Basundhara scheme.

Besides, the State government hiked the allowances of panchayat representatives by 25 percent.