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Commission Begins Consultations


The Fifteenth Finance Commission (FFC) which began consultations with various stakeholders in the State had a detailed meeting with the representatives of the Urban Local Bodies, Panchayati Raj Institutions Trade and Industries Bodies of Odisha on 8 January.

 
Chairman N K Singh chaired the Meeting, while other Members, Anoop Singh and Ashok Lahiri were present during the deliberations.
 
Principal Secretary Finance Ashok Kumar Meena presented details, while Housing and Urban Development Principal Secretary G Mathivathanan and Principal Secretary Panchayati Raj Deo Ranjan Kumar Singh and other senior officials were present.
 
The Commission felt that it was ironic that with 72% of India’s mineral resources, manufacturing sector in Odisha was still very moderate.
 
This has resulted in low job creation. With so much mineral wealth, Odisha is truly an example of a State which is nowhere near reaching its true growth potential, the Commission felt.
 
The Commission was of the opinion that some recent initiatives of the State Government have been good and effective, but deeper changes in the regulatory framework, combined with improved infrastructure and logistics are needed to make the State truly competitive.
 
The Commission was of the view that the State of Odisha has a great future given political stability and other factors.
 
 The Commission met representatives of the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and the Urban Local Bodies(ULBs).
 
It was unanimous that all the three tiers of Panchayati Raj Institutions must get a part of the financial devolution. It was felt that enhancing revenue capabilities was essential to their viability.
 
The Commission was concerned that levying of property tax is still not allowed. It deserved priority along with other measures to make the PRIs and ULBs self sufficient, felt the Commission.
 
At the meeting the Commission noted that Odisha was a shining example of women empowerment. 10 of 16 representatives of the PRIs and ULBs were women, even beyond the legislated 50%, the Commission said. 
 


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