Cong boycotts Guv`s address in Odisha Assembly

Amid boycott by opposition Congress of Governor`s address to Odisha Assembly alleging assault on democracy and Constitution during Panchayat polls.

Bhubaneswar: Amid boycott by opposition Congress of Governor`s address to Odisha Assembly alleging assault on democracy and Constitution during Panchayat polls, the state government today projected an outlay of Rs one lakh crore for the 12th five-year-plan for 2012-17.

As soon as Governor M C Bhandare began his address to the House on the opening day of the budget session, Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh was on his feet alleging misuse of government machinery, use of money power and flow of liquor by ruling BJD during Panchayat polls.

The way the just concluded three-tier panchayat polls was held was a matter of concern not only for opposition parties but also for the people as it mounted an assault on the Constitution and democratic system due to unfair means adopted by BJD, the Congress leader claimed.

As Singh led a walkout by Congress leaders opposing Bhandare`s address, the Governor outlined the policies and performances of the government highlighting achievements.

"My Government has initiated action to prepare the 12th five-year plan for 1212-17, with a projected outlay of Rs 1,00,000 crore," Bhandare said adding an outlay of Rs 17,000 crore has been proposed for the Annual Plan of 2012-13.

Stating that government has made substantial strides on management of public debt, he said it has been able to reduce net debt stock from 55.92 per cent of GSDP in 2001-02 to 21 per cent of GSDP in 2010-11, thereby saving the desired level of 25 per cent recommended by 13th Finance Commission.

As agriculture remained the backbone of state`s
economy, several pro-active measures are taken in the sector
with plans to cover about 40,760 hectare area under seed
production programme in 2012-13, Bhandare said.

To boost horticultural crops, it has been targeted to
cover about 17,000 hectare under fruit crops plantation in
2012-13, he said adding due importance was also given to
commercial cultivation of flowers.

For 2012-13, it was proposed to create additional
irrigation potential of 102.28 thousand hectares and to
construct 3,000 check dams, 7000 deep bore wells and 1190 lift
irrigation points, he said.

Turning to industry, the Governor said the state has
signed MoUs with 93 reputed investors across various sectors
like steel (50), Aluminium (3), Power (29), Cement (4), Auto
Component (1), oil refinery (1), Titanium Dioxide (1) and four
ancillary and downstream industries with an investment of Rs
4,62,768.74 crore.

Similarly, Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemical
Investment Region (PCPIR) with an investment of Rs 2,77,734
crore within an area of 284.15 sq km is going to be set up at
Paradip for which central government has already accorded
approval, Bhandare said

In power sector, the government has signed 29 MoUs for
setting up of independent power projects with total installed
capacity of 37,440 MW out of which the state`s share would be
6,141 MW, he said adding two plants with installed capacity of
1250 mw have started generating energy.

Seven power plants are likely to be completed by the
end of 2013 with a total capacity of 8100 MW from which the
state is likely to get 1200 mw share to become power surplus
by the end of 2013, Bhandare said adding steps have also been
taken for expansion of transmission network.

Describing royalty from minerals as the highest source
of state`s own non tax revenue, he said target for collection
of mining revenue this fiscal has been fixed at Rs 4000 crore
as against Rs 3,330.46 crore collected in 2010-11.

As many as 12,421 illegal mineral activities have been
detected during the year up to November, 2011 which has
resulted in seizure of 1235370 MT of minerals/ ores and
realisation of Rs 5.92 crore towards penalty, Bhandare said.

Stating that strong steps have been taken to intensify
anti-naxal operations, he said 1066 more posts are added in
the Special Protection Group (SPG), the elite force in
anti-naxal operations.

In order to facilitate smooth movement and deployment
of security forces in inaccessible areas and evacuation of the
injured, air services have been provided through a helicopter.

Seventy police stations with an investment of Rs 140
crore are under construction in naxal affected areas, while
two engineering battalions would be commissioned in Odisha
police to take up construction works in naxal-hit areas, he
said adding this would improve infrastructure facilities in
naxal affected areas where private contractors are unwilling
to take up construction work.