Minister of State Home Affairs Nityanand Rai. File Photo/ANI
Minister of State Home Affairs Nityanand Rai. File Photo/ANI

Government rejects Odisha's demand for special status

ANI | Updated: Jul 04, 2019 16:48 IST

New Delhi [India], July 4 (ANI): The Central government has not accorded the status of special category state to Odisha as the Fourteenth Finance Commission does not make any distinction between special and general category states, said Minister of State (MoS) in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Nityanand Rai.
"The Fourteenth Finance Commission has made no distinction between special and general category states, and the status of special category states doesn't exist today," Rai's response in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday read.
He was responding to a question filed by Rajya Sabha member and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader from Odisha, Prasanna Acharya.
The answer included the total assistance provided to help the state recover from the devastation caused by Cyclone Fani.
"In order to support the people of Odisha affected by Cyclone Fani, the Central Government had released in advance an assistance of Rs 340.875 crores from SDRF on April 29. Further, in pursuance to the visit made by Prime Minister to Odisha after the cyclone, Central Government had released an additional financial assistance of Rs. 1,000 crore to Government of Odisha on May 7," the reply stated.
It also added that a visit of the state by the Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) had taken place between May 12-15 for the assessment of damages. The Center was waiting for the report by the IMCT following which it would provide further financial assistance and also take into consideration the assistance sought by the state government from the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF).
"In the instant case, even before the receipt of the memorandum from State Government of Odisha, IMCT visited the affected areas of the State from May 12 to 15 for rapid assessment of damages. Odisha State has submitted a memorandum seeking an assistance of Rs 5227.68 crore from NDRF. IMCT visited the State from June 20-22 again for an on-the-spot assessment of damages caused by the cyclone Fani. Upon receipt of the report from the IMCT, further financial assistance under NDRF will be considered as per laid down procedure."
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had earlier requested PM Modi to accord special category status to Odisha, due to the destruction caused by cyclone Fani in the state, at the fifth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog on June 15. (ANI)