Odisha Has Huge Scope To Be India’s Economic Development Process Driver: 15th Finance Commission Chairman

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07 January 2019

Debashish Maharana

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Bhubaneswar: In a bid to have wide-ranging consultations with all the State Governments and all stakeholders, 15th Finance Commission Chairman Nand Kishore Singh arrived in Bhubaneswar today to hold a three-day consultations with the Odisha Government, all political parties, all urban local bodies (ULBs), three-tier Panchayati Raj representatives and other stakeholders here.

He was accorded a courteous welcome by Odisha Finance Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera and departmental Principal Secretary Ashok K.K. Meena at the Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) here.

In his media reactions at the airport, Singh said, “It’s a fairly full wide-ranging consultation with all multiple stakeholders apart from, of course, the Hon’ble Chief Minister, his colleagues in the various ministries and the other departments.”

He also stated, “We’re greatly looking forward to our three days of interactions so that the opportunities and challenges of economic development of Odisha could be understood.”

“Odisha has a huge scope in terms of becoming the driver and front leaders of India’s economic development process. It has lagged behind no doubt. We’ll try to see how can best be addressed and the role Finance Commission can play in this regard. We have received the memorandum of the State Government which is very wide-ranging and we’ll certainly have further discussion and interaction with the Minister,” remarked the Finance Commission chief.

To a media query, he made it clear, “We are not going to discuss farm loan waivers, other supports. We’ll have to the extent the State Government presents the overall financial and fiscal pictures and what needs to be done. We’ll be engaging in a constructive discussion.”

Briefing media earlier, Odisha Finance Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera informed, “The visit of the Finance Commission is meant for planning the 2020-2025. State government’s memorandum will be submitted. An experienced and learned person like N.K. Singh, the Chairman of Finance Commission has arrived here today. Tomorrow other members will arrive.”

“The wide-ranging discussion and consultation here will be with various stakeholders, various political parties, the prospects and challenges of the State in terms of overall development. Apart from the State Government’s memorandum, the Finance Commission will also put forth its presentation. Hence, we are all hopeful that the visit of 15th Finance Commission in 2019 will be fruitful in Odisha context,” he stated.

As per a PIB press note, the Commission will undertake field visits to take stock of the State Governments poverty eradication programme – Odisha Livelihood Mission (OLM) an autonomous society under the aegis of the Odisha Government.

It will also visit the Self Health Groups (SHGs), Drinking Water Projects, Cyclone Shelters, and other development projects of the State Government.

The Commission will also review the works undertaken by the Chilka Development Authority as well as Wet Land Research Centre, the press note added.

Also it has been stated that Odisha will be the 16th State that this Commission is visiting.

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N.K.Singh, Chairman, 15th Finance Commission

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Sashi Bhusan Behera, Minister, Finance, Odisha