Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said an empowered, inclusive Odisha is our goal

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday told the State Assembly that his Government would adopt a policy of constructive cooperation towards the Central Government with the only agenda of “State’s development” and welfare of four and a half crore people of Odisha.

“An empowered, inclusive Odisha is our goal; and people of Odisha have blessed us to realise this goal. My Government will leave no stone unturned towards achieving this goal,” the Chief Minister said while keeping his reply to the Motion of Thanks to the Governor’s speech in the House.

Stating that the will of the people is supreme in a democracy and they have reposed faith on his party, the Chief Minister said, “We will continue our journey determinedly to deliver a clean, transparent and citizen-centric governance.”

“During last nineteen years, we had kept our promises. We are proud of our achievements,” he said.

Stating that management of the Cyclone Fani and subsequent restoration efforts have been appreciated nationally and internationally, he expressed gratitude to the people of the State who have shown indomitable spirit in such a difficult time. “Our Government is committed to the cause of the people, especially the weaker sections,” he said.

Mentioning that agriculture continues to be the back bone of our economic growth and prosperity, he said the KALIA scheme would be continued to support farmers. Efforts would continue for development of irrigation, he said. “Women empowerment is a key prerequisite for good governance.

We are committed to take women empowerment to the next level. My Government will pursue aggressively women reservation in every forum,” he said.Ensuring quality education is among the top priorities of our Government.

He said Odisha Adarsha Vidyalayas would be made operational in all blocks and a Scholarship Council would be set up to facilitate scholarships both on merit and socioeconomic criteria.

“We shall take expeditious steps to convert all left out Kutcha houses into Pucca houses,” he said.

Stating that creation of employment opportunities for youth is the top agenda of his Government, the Chief Minister said, “Thirty lakh employment opportunities are expected to be created in six focus sectors. The World Skill Centre shall be producing one lakh fifty thousand highly skilled professionals.”

The Government is taking all possible steps to establish world class sports facilities in Bhubaneswar in its effort to make Odisha as the preferred Sports destination, he said.

Earlier, members belonging to both Opposition and ruling parties participated in the discussion. Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingha Mishra lamented saying that the Mahanadi water dispute issue was not mentioned in the Governor’s speech even as Odisha has not got justice in the matter. He alleged that the Government has failed in education and irrigation sectors.

Congress member Santosh Singh Saluja said the State Government has failed in agriculture, irrigation and drinking water sectors.

Leader of Opposition Pradipta Naik (BJP) slammed the Government for increase in loan burdens and non-implementation of Central schemes in the State.

“The State’s loan burden has reached the Rs 90,000-crore mark. The State Government has failed in implementing Cetral projects worth Rs 1,36,417 crore,” said Naik.