Bhubaneswar, Oct. 30: Chief minister Naveen Patnaik was on mission Orissa on Saturday. After inaugurating Orissa Bhavan in Mumbai on Saturday, Naveen flew to New Delhi to take up pending issues of the state with Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and human resource development minister Kapil Sibal.
Naveen is scheduled to meet Pranab to discuss the proposed amendments being initiated by the Centre Union Government to the Mines and Minerals Development Regulations Act (MMDT). The chief minister favours the proposed legislation that he expects would give thrust to the economy of the state.
He told newspersons that the Act should be amended in such a manner that the aborigines benefited to a large extent. Considering that the state has a huge stake in mineral-based industries with big ticket projects such as Posco and Vedanta facing hurdles, the state’s position assumes significance.
During his meeting with Sibal, the chief minister is likely to demand more money for the state so as to facilitate implementation of the Right to Education Act.
The state government needs Rs 16,000 crore for the purpose.
Under the Act, children belonging to the age group of 6 to 14 years are supposed to be given free and compulsory education.
“We need Rs 16,000 crores in the next four years for the purpose,” said school and mass education minister Pratap Jena.
While this will be his Delhi agenda, Naveen inaugurated a government-run Orissa Bhavan at Vasi in Mumbai.
The four-storeyed state-run guest house in the nation’s commercial capital has been built at a cost of Rs 10 crore and will provide accommodation to nearly 60 people. The state has such bhavans in New Delhi and Calcutta.
The guest house, built over an area of 2.76 square metre of land, has shops, an auditorium-cum-multipurpose hall, a library and other facilities.
It also has four deluxe suites and 24 double rooms apart from a dormitory.
As a sizeable number of Oriyas live in Mumbai , the guest house is expected to become the nerve centre of Oriyas transiting through the commercial capital.
In Delhi, the government runs Orissa Bhavan and Orissa Niwas and Calcutta has Utkal Bhavan.