Bhubaneswar: Claiming that his government was doing "exceedingly well" in achieving its promises despite fund cuts by the Centre, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said on Monday he believes in work and not publicity.
"My government is accountable to the people of Odisha. We believe in work and not in publicity," Patnaik said at a hurriedly-convened media briefing in an obvious reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "deep slumber" barb against the state government.
Patnaik read out achievements of his governments, four days after Prime Minister Modi asked the people of Odisha whether the state government has ever presented the account during its over 16-year rule.
Modi, while addressing a public meeting at Balasore on June 2, had also called upon the people to opt for a political change in order to develop, while dubbing the state government to be in "deep slumber".
Targeting the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, Patnaik said "Most of the central government schemes, which used to be in the 90:10 sharing pattern have been changed to 60:40 or 50:50. This change in fund sharing will benefit developed states and deprive the not so developed eastern states, including Odisha."
The rising trend of cess and surcharge further deprives Odisha of the due share in the central taxes. The service tax, which was 12.36 per cent in 2014, has now effectively become 15 per cent (inclusive of surcharge and cess), the Chief Minister said, adding that this would further increase prices, putting a heavy burden on the common man.
Stating that he has reviewed the achievements of different departments vis-a-vis the manifesto of the ruling BJD, Patnaik said "I am happy with the overall progress. We are definitely moving towards achieving our promises."
"I am happy to note that most of the departments have done exceedingly well. In some areas, we have to improve. We are the only state in the country to adopt the manifesto as the agenda for governance the day we assumed office," the Chief minister said.
Patnaik, who did not take any question, claimed that the BJD government has created record in providing shelter security to more than a million households and expressed confidence that the 2.3 million target would be achieved in the stipulated time.
On BJD's promise of enhancing irrigation potential of the state, Patnaik claimed commissioning of mega lift and other efforts have led to the creation of three lakh hectares of additional irrigation.
"We have substantially increased our investment in irrigation and are moving towards the target of one million hectares of capacity addition," the Chief minister said.
Claiming that the effective rate of interest was made one per cent for crop loans to benefit small and medium farmers, he said electrification of 11.5 lakh households including three lakh BPL families, have been achieved so far.
He said the construction of 500 new sub-stations was in full swing.
This apart, Patnaik said his government, in a record time, has set up 100 Odisha Adarsh Vidyalays.
"It is heartening to note that more than 30,000 children from rural areas, some from the backward blocks, have been enrolled in this quality education initiative," he said.
On the proposed medical colleges in the state, Patnaik said despite stoppage of funds by the Centre, "We have gone ahead with the construction of six new medical colleges. I am hopeful that two of them will be functional by next year and the rest by 2018."
He said poor people in the state avail free medicines under Niramaya scheme, a unique distribution scheme of the state.
Besides, Patnaik claimed Odisha leads in providing universal coverage to mothers.
"More than two million women have been assisted under the Mamata Scheme," he said apparently in reference to Prime Minister Modi's concern over mother and child mortality rate in the country.
He also said Odisha leads in implementation of the Forest Rights Act.
"Our IPR 2015 has given further fillip to the industrial scenario in Odisha and we have been ranked very high in the Ease of Doing Business," Patnaik said.
Taking a dig at Patnaik for his statement, senior BJP leader and Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram said "Who prevents you from going for publicity? You do not publicise as you have no achievements."
Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Narasingha Mishra of the Congress also lashed out at the Naveen government accusing it of failing to fulfil its promises of making 35 per cent of each block irrigated.