Bhubaneswar :5/2/19: Amid boycott of his speech by opposition Congress members, Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal Monday said political stability has provided the state with an “unrestricted space” for growth and development.
Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra accused the governor of maintaining “double standards”.
“We boycotted the governor’s address as he praised the state government’s activities in his speech. While he (governor) acts as a different person outside the assembly, the governor is all praise for the government inside the House,” the senior Congress leader said.
Lal, during his speech in the Assembly, said the state has been consistently growing at a rate higher than the national average.
“Odisha’s economy is on the path of steady growth.
From subsistence to sustenance and from sustenance to surplus, Odisha’s pace of transformation has been exceptional and the state’s growth has inclusive,” he said, marking the beginning of the Budget session.
The Biju Janata Dal government is “untiringly striving to eradicate poverty, accelerate the pace of economic growth, reduce regional disparity and gender differences” through various socio-economic measures and pro-people initiative, the governor maintained.
“Stability has provided us an unrestricted space for growth and development. Our transparent ways of governance have made us responsive and responsible to the changing needs of our time,” he said.
Stating that Odisha has achieved significant improvement in finance during the past 18 years by implementing various fiscal reforms, the governor said the state has been able to adhere to all parameters envisaged in its Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act.
“The debt stress of the state has been brought down to 17.8 per cent in 2017-18 from the level of 50.7 per cent in 2002-03, due to concerted efforts of my government. Similarly, the interest payment to revenue receipt ratio has been brought down from 40.2 per cent in 2001-02 to 5.9 per cent in 2017-18,” the governor said.
Lal also said that the government has approved 2,428 projects with an estimated cost of Rs 100 crore during 2018-19 to accelerate the pace of development in western Odisha.
Of the 2,158 km single-lane state highways, 1700 km have been covered and the rest will be completed by the end of 2019-20, the governor said.
He also informed the House that the state government is constructing the ambitious four-lane 640-km Biju Expressway, connecting Jagdalpur to Rourkela through western Odisha and KBK (Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput) districts.
The four-laning work of Sambalpur-Rourkela, a section of SH-10, covering 163 km length with investment of Rs 1292.56 crore, has been completed and dedicated to the people of Odisha, the governor said.
The state government has taken up the construction of 13 bridges over river Mahanadi, of which eight have been completed. Similarly, seven other bridges will get functional over river Brahmani, of which five have been completed, he said.
Lal said the government has completed four major and medium irrigation projects namely Rukura, Upper Indravati Extension, Ret and Titlagarh Irrigation projects.
Two other major and medium projects like Lower Indra and Telengiri are going to be completed soon, Lal told the House.
“The BJD government has launched schemes like KALIA for the welfare of farmers and Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) to facilitate treatment of patients. Besides, my government has also provided 65,000 smartphones to farmers,” he added.