Naveen asks UPA to rise above party line under federal system



Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday asked the Congress led UPA government at the Centre to rise above party line while dealing with states under the federal system.

"The Centre should not forget that there are elected governments in states which should be given more power as they understand their responsibilities. Centre should shoulder its responsibility towards development of states", Patnaik said while addressing partymen at a function held here marking 15th Foundation Day of the BJD.

Accusing the Centre of hindering development of states, mostly ruled by non-Congress parties, he said "despite several hurdles, Odisha has progressed in many fields like industrialisation, agriculture and poverty reduction."

Alleging negligence of Odisha by Centre, Patnaik said "the state loses crores of rupees as the Centre does not hike royalty on minerals. The Centre also ignored our demand for imposing tax on the super normal profit made by mine owners."

Though the Centre earns over Rs 7,500 crore in railway sector annually from Odisha, it spends less than 10 per cent for development of rail infrastructure in the state, Patnaik claimed protesting cut in allocation in the railway budget.

"It is painful that of the Rs 750 crore sanctioned in this year?s budget for state rail projects, the Centre has slashed about Rs 280 crore in three phases. This will affect the ongoing projects," Patnaik said.

The BJD supremo also slammed the Centre for ignoring the long standing demand of a special status tag to Odisha. "The indifferent attitude of the Centre in according special status to the state is a cause of concern," Patnaik said.

PTI