In an aim to bring more investment to the sector, the Odisha cabinet, headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, on Friday approved Odisha Port Policy, 2022.
The state government has formulated the policy for the holistic development of the entire maritime ecosystem of Odisha as it aims to provide comprehensive guidelines for integrated development of non-major ports and inland waterways of Odisha, said Chief Secretary S.C. Mahapatra.
The port policy will facilitate the promotion of private sector investments into the maritime sector of the state, help to make Odisha as a favoured investment destination, and provide employment opportunities to the youth of Odisha, he said.
This policy seeks to aid and promote development of ports and port-led industrial development through improved port linking infrastructure.
The policy also promotes other maritime ventures such as coastal shipping, promotion of marine tourism, multi-purpose harbours, introduction of sea-plane connectivity, promotion of facilities and creation of infrastructure for ship building, ship breaking and related activities, he said.
Currently, the state has 14 notified non-major ports, out of which the ports at Dhamra and Gopalpur are already functioning, while the ports at Astaranga and Subarnarekha Mouth (Kirtania) are currently under construction.
Similarly, the cabinet has also approved PRARAMBH- the Odisha State Policy for Children, 2022.
The policy envisions the best interest of children by means of a blueprint which focuses on children’s right to survival, protection, physical health, including mental health, upholding the right to education, participation and other milestones required to achieve their optimal development, Mahapatra said.
He said the policy will further strengthen the state’s commitment to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by ensuring rights of children in the state and will significantly improve the overall wellbeing of children.
The master plan for development of the Odisha University of Technology & Research (OUTR) by upgrading the College of Engineering & Technology (CET), Bhubaneswar has also got the cabinet’s nod.
With this upgradation, the university intends to extend its advanced technological facilities to the poor and meritorious students of the state by enhancing the existing student strength from 5,000 to 10,000 within the next five years at a cost of Rs 1,500 crore, said the Chief Secretary.
The state government has approved a budget of Rs 929.55 crore for implementation of Crop Diversification Programme for three years (2022-23 to 2024-25). The programme is supported through a state plan scheme and it will be implemented in all the 30 districts of the state.
Similarly, two irrigation projects worth more than Rs 521 crore have been approved.
Besides, the state government has also approved a one time settlement scheme for captive electricity consumers to clear their long pending dues.