New Delhi: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday demanded central assistance for the state hit by cyclones Hudhud and Phailin saying it was a "genuine" need.
Patnaik, who met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to press for the demands, said the state has not been provided with interim assistance of Rs 500 crore from National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) for Hudhud till date and is yet to receive Rs 399.83 crore due on account of Phailin.
Jaitley assured that he would look into the concerns of the state, said a state government statement.
Patnaik was also assured that banks would be directed to open new brick and mortar branches in all uncovered gram panchayats according to the schedule finalised by the State Level Bankers Committee.
The Chief Minister was further assured that the Finance Ministry will sanction and release compensation on account of loss incurred by reduction of Central Sales Tax at least for one year, to begin with, the statement said.
Patnaik had regretted that the State's fiscal has been restrained due to reduction of the Central Sales Tax from 4 to 2 per cent and "non-fulfillment' of the Centre's commitment to compensate the loss.
He also urged the Centre for including Naxal-affected districts under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana in the first phase.
Stating that lack of adequate central assistance for flagship programmes including MGNREGA has adversely affected the finances of the state government and the pace of these development programmes, he urged Jaitley to make adequate provision for clearing the huge backlog commitment of the Centre.