PM@Backward Meet

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the Conference of  the Officers-In-Charge (OIC)s of Backward Districts here on 5 January.

The Conference on Transformation of Aspirational Districts, organized by Niti Aayog, which opened today are attended by officials who are looking after the transformation of 115 districts.

Odisha and West Bengal have decided to boycott, while other state representatives are attending.

So at least 102 District Officers from various states, District Magistrates of 102 Districts and all the 115 Prabhari Officers are attending the meet.

And there is a feeling among the State Cadre IAS Officers those are appointed as Prabhari Officers for the Backward Districts of Odisha that the State will be missing extra funding, which is likely to pour in through the “Transformation of Aspirational Districts” Program.

While NITI Aayog identified 115 Backward Districts in the country and Eight from Odisha were notified as “Backward”.

For these districts, senior IAS officers in the rank of Joint Secretary and Additional Secretary were appointed as Officer-In-Charge(OIC) are known as Prabhari Officers.

A two days long conference of these Prabhari Officers along with District Officers of these districts and District Magistrates are attending.

While eight OICs for Odisha are attending the meet, District Officers and District Magistrates from Odisha are absent.

OICs for Odisha are Satyabrat Sahu for Rayagada, Barun Mitra for Koraput, Santosh Sarangi for malkangiri, aparajita Sarangi for kalahandi, Jatindranath Swain for Dhenkanal, S K Vashishth for Balangir, and S K Chadha for Gajapati.

All of them are attending the meeting, while some of the OICs feel that Odisha will miss a chance of receiving more funds for these backward districts as Centre is planning for pumping more funds.

In fact today Union Secretary Health & Family Welfare, while making presentation has announced to provide more funds from the national Health Mission (NHM).
Similarly other Ministries are planning to pump more funds for these Backward Zones.

The event is being organised keeping in view Mr.Modi’s vision of creating a New India by 2022.

The Centre has embarked upon a major policy initiative for rapid transformation of districts that are lagging on specific development parameters, said an OIC.

Officials in Odisha Government feel that “such a move is confusing as social sector funding has slowed down after the NDA Government has come to power”.

“We are resorting to Market Borrowings to fund social sector  and developmental projects for last three years as funds flow from Centre has dried up”, said a senior official.

In fact, Odisha Government has appointed District Officers in the rank of Principal Secretary and Secretary, while Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) rank officers have been designated as “Mentor” for all the 30 districts including these eight districts.

And this facility is much more helpful for the State Administration to keep a close tab on the developmental activities taken up in the districts, said he.

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