Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik put forth a four-point charter of demands before NITI Aayog, stressing that fulfilment of these were vital for the growth of the state.
According to the reports, apart from a special category status for Odisha, Patnaik has sought expansion of railway infrastructure, banking facilities in rural pockets and telecommunication services in remote areas in the charter.
The CM placed the demands before NITI Aayog vice-chairperson Suman Bery and member Dr Vinod K Paul during their visit to the state. Maintaining that the state would submit detailed notes on the demands, Patnaik said that Odisha had been grossly neglected in areas of railways, banking and telecommunications. Justifying his demand for special status, he pointed out that Odisha gets affected by natural calamities like floods and cyclones almost every year.
Calamities cause financial strain on the state exchequer, and, therefore, proper infrastructure in vulnerable areas may reduce economic loss, he told the visiting NITI Aayog delegation. Bery on his part assured the state government that the think-thank would take necessary measures. The team also invited Patnaik to the upcoming seventh governing council meeting of NITI Aayog in New Delhi on August 7, the officials stated.
Earlier, while attending other functions and meetings, the NITI Aayog team assured the Odisha government that the state would be engaged in various developmental initiatives to take it forward on the path of growth.