MOTION OF THANKS on the President’s Address – 2020 :Speech by Dr.Sasmit Patra

Odisha lacks attention in prez's address : BJD

Hon’ble Deputy Chairman Sir,

I stand to support the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address. Due to only one minute listed for me, I will try to be quick and to the point.

1. In Para 3 of the Hon’ble President’s Address, he has referred to Babasaheb Ambedkar’s principle of social justice. I welcome the President’s sentiments. But to ensure social justice, we also need to enumerate SEBC and OBC caste data in the Census 2021 as has been requested by a resolution of the Odisha’s Ministerial Cabinet. I hope the Union Government considers this positively.

2. In Para 10, fourth bulletted point of the Speech, the Hon’ble President speaks of a new India, where every region develops and no region is left behind. I thank him for his vision. However, the fact is stranger than reality. Odisha contributes Rs.20,000 Crores towards Clean Energy Cess suffering mining pollution but does not receive a single rupee from this Cess. It loses Rs.2000 Crores annually due to non-revision of Coal royalty since 2014. Are these examples of inclusive growth for every region? No. It’s not. I hope the Government rectifies these inconsistencies and vindicates the speech of Hon’ble President.

3. In Para 96 of the Address, the Hon’ble President states and I quote “This step aimed at mitigating natural disasters will strengthen India’s stature as a sensitive world power.” I thank the Hon’ble President for his view. However, states like Odisha which are regularly ravaged by natural disasters need Special Focus. This special focus means that for the state’s recovery and reconstruction, a 90 is to 10 fund sharing between the Centre and State for the Central Schemes along with specified tax holidays could be provided for a period of three years. This would help realize the Hon’ble President’s effort for disaster mitigation, adaptation, recovery and reconstruction.

4. In Para 14 of the President’s Address, I welcome his view and I quote, “My Government is following the mantra of “Sab ka Saath, Sab ka Vikas, Sab ka Vishwas” unquote. However, it needs to reflect in action. Odisha is forgotten when Government identifies 5 iconic archaeological sites, forgotten when 17 iconic tourist sites are identified, forgotten to deserve a national tribal museum while 64 tribal groups live in Odisha. Sab Ka Saath, Sab Ka Vikas, Sab ka Vishwas will stay incomplete when deserving states like Odisha are sadly forgotten. I hope the Government relooks at these issues and helps fulfil the vision of the Hon’ble President in this regard.

5. In Para 71 of the Address, Hon’ble President speaks and I quote “My Government has therefore been consistently emphasizing Competitive Cooperative Federalism” unquote. Following cooperative federalism, states like Odisha have been providing free of cost land and bearing 50 percent cost of construction for railway projects. But railway projects in Odisha started way back from 1985 are yet to be completed. The Union Government needs to expedite railway projects in states like Odisha if the Hon’ble President’s vision of Competitive Cooperative Federalism is to bear fruit.

6. My last point. In Para 63, the Hon’ble President in his Address spoke and I quote “My Government has focussed on Digital Access, Digital Inclusion and Digital Empowerment” unquote. I welcome this statement. However, states like Odisha deserve better tele-density in telecommunications and Banking density for digital inclusion and empowerment. About 10,000 villages in Odisha which come under Left Wing Extremists affected area do not have telecommunication facilities as per a survey by the Ministry of Telecommunications. I hope the Government works with states like Odisha to realize the goal of the Hon’ble President as mentioned in his Speech.

With these words, I on behalf of my leader and Hon’ble CM Shri. Naveen Patnaik ji and Biju Janata Dal, support the Motion of Thanks on the Hon’ble President’s Address. Thank you.