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New plan panel must ensure equitable resource sharing: Patnaik
Sunday December 7, 2014 7:50 PM, IANS

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Sunday said the proposed body to replace the Planning Commission should ensure fair and equitable resource allocation and respect the principles of federal polity.

He was speaking at a meeting of chief ministers here convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hear their views on the restructuring of the planning panel.

"We leave it to the wisdom of the central government and to the prime minister to frame the structure and processes of the new planning institutional set-up. Our stand is that it should ensure just, fair and equitable resource allocation and respect the principles of federal polity," said Patnaik.

Stating that states have witnessed that the distribution of resources has been guided not entirely on merit and necessity, he said this has caused a serious imbalance in development across states and unsatisfactory performance in human development indicators.

"For over a decade, both of us as chief ministers have experienced the planning process from the other side. So, the prime minister is well aware of the problems that the opposition ruled states face on account of Centre's bias," he said.

The chief minister said India can be a developed country if the central government and its planning body can ensure equitable distribution of resources free from any political motives.

To justify his stand on the central government's neglect, he said while Odisha contributes over Rs.14,000 crore annually or about 1/10 of the total revenue of railways, the state has not received even 20 percent of the revenue earned from the state.

Noting that Odisha faces a natural disaster every alternate year, he said these factors need to be considered while doing resource allocation planning.

"Repeated natural disasters have been playing havoc with my state, perpetuating poverty and under-development."

"It is in this context that Odisha has been demanding the status of a special category and adequate flow of resources to enable the state to catch up with the rest of the developed states in the country," said Patnaik.

Advocating for inclusive growth, he said: "We need to create a mechanism for sharing the tax revenues to enable the states prepare their plans based on locally felt needs. In this regard, the finance commission can either be strengthened or a suitable new arrangement can be thought of."

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