On Friday, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik demanded the Centre to declare Odisha a "Special Focus State" giving the reason of state frequently facing natural disasters.
At the 24th Eastern Zonal Council (EZC) meeting, the Chief Minister said, "Taking the frequency of natural disasters faced by Odisha into consideration, Vulnerability to Natural Calamity should be taken as a criteria to declare Odisha as a Special Focus State."
Under the Chairmanship of Union Minister Amit Shah, the EZC meeting has commenced on Friday at Bhubaneswar.
During the meeting, the Cheif Minister also sought for increasing banking, teledensity and coal royalty.
Patnaik stated, "Royalty on coal has not been revised from 2012. There is an urgent need to revise royalty on coal and also to share the proceeds of Clean Energy cess with the State Government."
Odisha CM also called for announcing a special economic package to speed up the infrastructural development of the region.
He added, "Our regions have some of the largest scheduled areas of the country. I reiterate my demand for inclusion of the Ho, Bhumij and Mundari languages in the Eighth Schedule of Constitution."
Though the state provides 50 percent funds and lands free of cost in important railway projects, progress has been very slow.
The Chief Minister stated, "If a nationwide analysis is done for teledensity, banking density, rail, and road density, East Zone would be at the bottom in all these subjects that are in Union List. There is a need to double the allotments made to this region so that they catch up to the national benchmarks."
As per the agency, he said that this zone contributes maximum to the mineral wealth of the country and in turn manufacturing and energy security of the country. The fruits of this wealth should boost the economic growth of this region and its people.
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