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Naveen Patnaik bats for simultaneous elections

June 15, 2019 10:50 pm | Updated 11:30 pm IST - Bhubaneswar

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik

As frequent elections can affect the development climate, it is better to have simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the country, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik suggested at the NITI Aayog Governing Council meeting on Saturday.

Mr. Patnaik suggested that the organisation move towards empowering women in all spheres.

The Chief Minister further said that judicious utilisation of water resources was important and a second green revolution should happen in the dryland areas. Environment and economic development should go hand in hand, he said.

Mr. Patnaik said it was time to conduct a scientific comprehensive survey for beneficiary-oriented schemes.

Informing the meeting about the devastation that Cyclone Fani caused in Odisha, Mr. Patnaik proposed that natural calamity should be included as a criterion for according special category status to Odisha.

As an interim measure, the States hit by major natural calamities may be declared “special focus States” and granted benefits of special category status for a specific period, Mr. Patnaik said.

According to an official statement issued by his office, Mr. Patnaik highlighted that the PM-KISAN scheme should include landless agriculture households and share-croppers.

All irrigation projects still incomplete as on April 1, 2019 should be included under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY), said Mr. Patnaik, adding that the Centre should allocate a much higher quantum of resources for watershed, command area development and drinking water.

Mr. Patnaik said that there should be a priority component under PMGSY-III to connect habitations with a population of 100 and below. The projects need to be expedited to extend rail connectivity to Kandhamal, Nabarangpur and Malkangiri districts, he added.

The Chief Minister said that bank facilities should be extended to unbanked gram panchayats, and that Bharatnet project should also be implemented at a faster pace.

The royalty on coal should be revised from 14% to 20% of sale value, said Mr. Patnaik.

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