Centre Rejects Special Status

The Centre has turned down demand of Odisha for a Special Category State (SCS) status.

Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said the SCS category no longer exists since the 14th Finance Commission has made no distinction between Special and General category states.

Minister’s statement is seen as a setback for the State, which has been persistent with its demand for the special status.

The Odisha Government had most recently reiterated it at the NITI Aayog Governing Council meeting held at New Delhi.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had raised the issue in Governing Council Meet asking the Centre to include Odisha as SCS as the State is facing natural calamities almost every year.

He raised the issue after Super Storm FANI battered the coastal districts on 3 May.

In the Niti Aayog meeting, Naveen had demanded that natural calamity be included as a criterion for according the status.

And subsequently Mr.Patnaik raised the matter with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his meeting on June 11 during their meeting in New Delhi.

However, this is not the first time when the Centre has rejected Odisha's demand.

In 2013, during the UPA regime, the Planning Commission had turned it down, stating that Odisha does not meet the criteria set for the status.

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