State making false claims to divert attention from real issues: Cong

Bhubaneswar: Slamming Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for alleging central neglect, Congress on Tuesday said despite generous grants by the UPA government 'false' claims were being made to divert attention from real issues and to hide the inefficiency of the ruling BJD.

"False claims on central neglect by the chief minister are aimed at diverting the people's attention from real issues and hiding the failure of his government," Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee President Niranjan Patnaik told reporters.

He said that the UPA government was providing generous grants, guidance and support to the state under various programmes to enable it to overcome its socio-economic disadvantages.

"In Odisha, governance is negligible and one wonders where the funds have gone as poverty and misery continue as ever. Funds flow from Delhi, reach Bhubaneswar, but dry up between the state capital and the rest of Odisha. We need to find out where it is going," the OPCC chief said.

Citing statistics, Patnaik said Centre's fund transfers for Odisha increased from 25 per cent of the state budget in 1999-2000 to 49 per cent in 2009-10 as per budget estimates.

"This share jumped from about 24 per cent in 2003-04 to 40 per cent in 2004-05 and 50 per cent in 2005-06. It touched about 55 per cent in 2007-08. All this happened during UPA rule," he said.

Even the Economic survey 2011-12 of the Odisha government admitted that the state was heavily dependent on central transfers for its resources, he said.

He said in 2010-11, central transfers constituted about 52 per cent of its total revenue receipts. Of these, tax devolution was the largest component.

The Congress leader said in rice subsidy alone the Centre shared subsidy of an estimated Rs 1900 crore.

Stating that in the 15 flagship programmes the Centre pumped in Rs 41,176.82 crore between 2007-08 and 2011-12, Patnaik said despite adequate cental funds poverty in Odisha was 48.6 per cent as per the human development report 2011.