Sunday, May 17, 2015

Centre may okay funds for some Odisha dists

Times of India, May 17, 2015
,TNN | May 17, 2015, 03.53 PM IST
BHUBANESWAR: The NDA government is likely to consider state's demand for continuation of the Koraput-Balangir-Kalahandi (KBK) scheme and Integrated Action Plan (IAP) implemented in 18 Maoist-hit districts.

The Centre has not allocated funds for both the schemes in the 2015-16 annual budget.

The state government raised the issue at the regional meeting of NITI Aayog organized in Kolkata on May 12.

"The NITI Aayog has agreed to take up the issue in its governing council meeting," said an officer of planning and coordination department.

The KBK, comprising Koraput, Nabarangpur, Malkangiri, Rayagada, Sonepur, Balangir, Kalahandi and Nuapada districts, is one of the poorest and most backward regions of the country.

On August 18, 1995, former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao launched a long-term action plan for KBK to alleviate hunger and usher in development.

Under IAP, each district was allocated Rs 30 crore a year for development work, which was approved and monitored by the Planning Commission. In 2010, the Union ministry of rural development started implementing the scheme in 60 districts. It later expanded to 88.

The state government demanded Rs 250 crore under special plan for KBK and Rs 540 crore for IAP, official sources said.

The state has also demanded that the Centre bears the monthly salary of gana sikshyaks under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), anganwadi workers under Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS) and ASHA workers under National Health Mission (NHM) because the central government has substantially reduced funding under several schemes following the 14th finance commission recommendations.

Odisha has also moved the Centre to continue funding for NHM, National Urban Livelihood Mission, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyaan, National Rural Drinking Water Programme and rural housing scheme in the existing sharing pattern after the Centre announced to give only 50% of the money.

On May 8, chief minister Naveen Patnaik during his meeting with Union health and family welfare minister J P Nadda urged him to continue NHM in its current sharing pattern.

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