Odisha's no to Centre as project monitor

Bhubaneswar: The state government on Wednesday refused to cooperate with the Centre to monitor development activities in backward districts of the state through central government officers.

"It will create confusion in the administration. Hence it's not possible on our part to cooperate with the Centre in this regard, "said finance minister Sashi Bhusan Behera.

"It proves that the state government does not want the development of the state's backward districts," said Union tribal affairs minister Jual Oram.

Earlier, it was decided at the Niti Aayog meeting to appoint senior officers in the rank of additional secretary or joint secretary as "parbhari officers" to monitor the development of the backward districts across the country.

Accordingly, the central government had selected eight backward districts of the state and assigned the responsibility of the respective districts to senior officers.

The Niti Aayog has convened a meeting on January 4 and 5 to discuss the issue and invited collectors of these districts to attend the meeting.

However, no officer from Odisha has gone to attend that meeting, official sources said.

"This is very unfortunate," said BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma.

"It seems that the BJD government is trying to keep all of his officers under its control," he said.

Senior Congress leader Niranjan Patnaik said: "Both the BJP and the BJD are vying with each other to take credit."


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