Special Category Status to Odisha not under consideration: Centre

Bhubaneswar: In a major blow to Odisha which has been demanding special category state status, Union Minister for State (Finance) Anurag Thakur today informed that no such proposal is under the consideration of the Central government.

Thakur’s comments came in response to a question from BJD MP Ramesh Majhi in Lok Sabha today.

“There is no proposal under consideration of the Union Government for granting Special Category State status to Odisha and allowing sharing pattern for Centrally sponsored schemes in the ratio of 90:10 at par with North-Eastern and Himalayan States,” said Thakur.

Thakur further stated that the 14th Finance Commission does not make a distinction between special and general category states.

At the NITI Aayog meeting in June, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik had demanded inclusion of natural calamities as one of the criteria for granting special category status to states like Odisha.

Patnaik had sought ’Special Focus State’ status for the state in view of its vulnerability to natural calamities.

“As an interim measure, States hit by major natural calamities may be declared as Special Focus States and granted benefits of special category states for a specific period,” Patnaik had earlier said.