Odisha aims to achieve 9% growth during 12th plan

Bhubaneswar, March 15 (IANS) Odisha Governor S.C. Jamir on Tuesday said his government is progressively increasing resource allocations to achieve a 9% growth rate during the 12th Plan Period.

“Our aim is to achieve a growth rate of 9% during the 12th Plan Period, which my government wants to set as the ‘new normal’ and to achieve this, my government is progressively increasing resources allocations to various state plan activities,” Jamir said in his address in the assembly as the budget session began on Tuesday.

He said the state government has approved an outlay of Rs.44,150 crore for 2015-16 while it intends to increase the plan outlay to Rs.45,000 crore during 2016-17.

“Our commitment for inclusive growth backed by your own increasing resource allocations for the same have made us the fastest growing economy in our country, nearly doubling the per capita income with the highest reduction of poverty in a decade,” said the governor.

He said though there was the shadow of an economic slowdown over the government, it could achieve the budgeted target through better revenue mobilisation.

“The state’s own tax revenues increased by 17.43% and non-revenue receipts registered a growth of 10.40%, making the tax/GSDP ratio to climb 6.38%,” said the governor.

He said the Odisha government has been giving importance to the agriculture sector by preparing a separate budget for the sector for the last three years.

“My government is among the few states in the country which now has an agricultural cabinet to look into the growth of cultivation and find ways to overcome hurdles being faced by farmers,” said Jamir.

Stating that the irrigation sector tops the list of priorities, he said the water resources department has been mandated to create additional 10 lakh hectares of irrigation by 2019.

He said the law and order situation in the state is peaceful, communal harmony has been maintained and the industrial climate is also peaceful.

“The incidents of left wing extremism violence and death of security personnel and civilians this year have been less in number. Surrender of LWEs (Left Wing Extremists) has increased in the state,” said the governor.

Talking about law and order, he said the state government had taken special measures to deal with crimes against women by setting up investigating units for such crimes in seven police districts.

“To ensure harsh punishment for the criminals, the government has made provisions for high conviction rate. Besides, the government, as part of its efforts, has reinforced the state police with appointment of additional policemen,” he added.

He said providing affordable housing to economically weaker sections is a high priority of the state government and it has set a target of constructing 1.5 lakh dwelling units in the state during the next financial year.

Emphasising the importance of the technology sector, he said the government has entered into a strategic partnership with TiE Silicon Valley and is coming up with an exclusive strategic start-up policy.

However, the opposition criticised the state government for its failure on the development front in the state.

“The government is using the governor and showing the bright side of the development that it has achieved, whereas in reality the case is completely different. The government is oppressing the people of Odisha by boasting about development,” Mishra said.

Highlighting some points, he said, “The government is showing that agricultural production has increased in the state, while this year there was a major drought in the state.”

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