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Fin Com tells Odisha special status issue not under its purview

twitter-logoPTI | January 10, 2019 | Updated 20:53 IST

Bhubaneswar, Jan 10 (PTI) The 15th Finance Commission has told Odisha that granting 'special category' status does not fall under its purview, but assured the state it will look into the demand for hiking its share in the central tax kitty. Addressing the Commission, which is currently visiting the state, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Wednesday demanded an increase in the state's share in net taxes to 50 per cent from the existing 42 per cent and a 'special category' status for Odisha. "We will examine all the issues raised by the state government," Finance Commission Chairman N K Singh said. On the demand for special category status, he said, "Similar demands have been made by Andhra Pradesh and Bihar. But the issue does not come under the purview of the 15th Finance Commission." Earlier in the day, the commission observed that Odisha was nowhere near reaching its true growth potential despite being mineral-rich. The commission made the observations during an interaction with various trade and industry bodies here on the first day of its three-day consultation programme. The chief minister earlier said the government also sought Rs 8.24 lakh crore for five years between 2020 and 2025, and demanded that cess and surcharges be made part of divisible pool and 1971 population be used as a criteria for tax devolution. Among the major suggestions to the commission, Patnaik sought extension of GST compensation for another 10 years and clean energy cess to be spent in coal mining areas. The chief minister alleged that successive governments at the Centre have neglected Odisha, which frequently faces natural calamities. The state's demands were made under different heads like pre-devolution revenue deficit (Rs 6,71,365 crore), state specific needs (Rs 87,520 crore), disaster response (Rs 11,875 crore) and grants to local bodies (Rs 53,884 crore), Finance Minister S B Behera said. While the state government had demanded Rs 4.6 lakh crore from the 14th Finance Commission, it had received around Rs 1.84 lakh crore by 2018, a senior official said. While estimating the projected revenue deficit during 2020-25 at Rs 6,71365 crore, Odisha also demanded inclusion among the special category status states in view of its developmental status and needs. The finance minister said since special category states have been renamed as North Eastern and Western Himalayan States, Odisha requested the 15th Finance Commission to recommend the funding pattern of 90:10 at par with these states. PTI AAM SKN NN ABM ABM

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