Bhubaneswar: In his opening address to the budget session of the 16th Odisha Assembly, Odisha Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal Tuesday lauded the State government’s handling of Cyclone Fani and praised the implementation of the manifesto on the first day of the government.
The Governor congratulated the Naveen Patnaik Government for assuming power for the fifth time in a row. He also condoled the demise of former and sitting members of the Parliament, State Assembly, and policemen and Army jawans from Odisha who laid down their lives in service.
The Governor said “I would urge upon all of you to focus on our journey of transformation towards a new Odisha, an empowered Odisha where poverty will be a thing of the past, where women will be equal partners in growth and development, where growth will be inclusive of all vulnerable sections in its landscape of development and where the dreams of the youth will come true. We now need to make the world know that Odisha’s time has come, and for all of us the time starts now.”
The Governor’s speech highlighted the successful implementation of the Kalia scheme for the state’s farmers, marginal farmers, sharecroppers and landless labourers in the KALIA scheme. His speech included the state government’s successes and the promises.
“I take pride that my Government was fully prepared to battle the cyclone. 1.4 million people were evacuated in 24 hours. I also express gratitude to people of Odisha for their courage,” he said.
“Water, electricity, boosting agriculture with irrigation facilities, improving health and education will continue to be the priorities of my Government,” he added.
“Working in this direction, my Government envisions that all farmers and landless agricultural labourers will be covered under KALIA scheme. This scheme will be continued as promised. My Government will provide interest free crop loans to small and marginal farmers up to Rs 1 lakh,” the Governor said.
A Welfare Board will be formed by the State Government for those engaged in traditional livelihood earning means like priests, barbers, washermen, etc.
“My Government would like to carry forward the benefits accrued from 1st and 2nd editions of ‘Make in Odisha’ campaign in terms of investment and employability to the youth of Odisha. My Government will endeavour to create 30 lakh employment opportunities in 6 focus sectors. 75% of jobs will be reserved for qualified local youth in all upcoming industries in Odisha. The World Skill Centre will produce 1.5 lakh high skilled professionals, who will have global employable potential. ‘Skilled in Odisha’ will be made a global brand by my Government and 15 lakh youth will be skilled in the next 5 years,” the Governor underlined.
Highlighting the infrastructure development in the state, he said “Biju Express Way will connect North to South, East to West of Odisha. My Government will attempt to connect the heritage Silver City of Cuttack with Smart City of Bhubaneswar by metro railway. Puri will be made a word heritage city. All places of tourism importance will be linked and way-side amenities will be provided on all major roads. District Tourism Councils will be formed in all districts by my Government.”
“Promotion of sports among tribals will be the priority of my Government. Astro turfs will be laid in all 17 blocks of Sundargarh district to prepare world class players from the cradle of hockey,” he stated.
He said “My Government is peoples’ Government. More than four and half crore people of our State are at the forefront of all its initiatives. My Government will abide by the suggestions received from the people and work ceaselessly to provide totally citizen centric governance.”
The State Government will stress on agriculture development and farmers welfare as a major strategy for bringing poverty below 5 percent over the next year, the Governor said.