Odisha to allocate Rs.250 crore for KBK region

Bhubaneswar, Oct 31 (IANS) The Odisha government on Saturday decided to make budgetary allocations of Rs.250 crore on its own to continue the special KBK scheme after the central government stopped funding the programme.

As the central government discontinued providing funds under the Revised Long Term Action Plan (RLTAP) in the Koraput-Balangir-Kalahandi (KBK) region from this financial year, the state government has decided to enhance fund allocation under Biju KBK scheme to Rs.250 crore from Rs.120 crore.

This was decided at a meeting presided over by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here on Saturday.

The KBK, comprising Koraput, Nabarangpur, Malkangiri, Rayagada, Sonepur, Balangir, Kalahandi and Nuapada districts, is considered one of the poorest and most backward regions of the country.

The central government had slashed the fund allocation to the KBK region from Rs.250 crore to Rs.130 crore in 2006.

Since then, the state government is allocating Rs.120 crore for the development of the region by launching Biju KBK scheme, said a release from the Chief Minister’s Office.

As the central government has not allocated funds for the scheme in the 2015-16 annual budget, the state government decided to allocate an additional Rs.130 crore to run the scheme under Biju KBK, said the release.

Patnaik also directed that the money be spent on the development of the area particularly the communication, irrigation and education sectors.

The state government had raised the issue of allocating funds for the KBK region at the regional meeting of NITI Aayog held in Kolkata on May 12.

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