Archive for the 'Universities: existing and upcoming' Category

Jairam Ramesh began the process of taking down the Indian economy and turned Ministry of Environment into a secret instrument for a new licence raj: Tavleen Singh

CENTER & ODISHA, ENVIRONMENT, EXPOSING ANTI-ODISHA-GROWTH SCHEMES, Puri, Universities: existing and upcoming 4 Comments »

Following is an excerpt from an article by Tavleen Singh in Indian Express.

So a junior minister, Jairam Ramesh, was allowed to begin the process of taking the Indian economy down by stopping huge infrastructure projects after investments worth thousands of crore rupees had already been made. Why did the Prime Minister not stop the Ministry of Environment from being turned into a secret instrument for a new licence raj?

Unfortunately, Odisha bore the biggest burnt of Jairam Ramesh’s folly when he stopped Vedanta University.

Odisha’s growth will be steady; albeit slower than what some desire

EXPOSING ANTI-ODISHA-GROWTH SCHEMES, Odisha govt. action, Odisha govt. Inaction, POSCO, Universities: existing and upcoming, Vedanta 9 Comments »

In the recently held by-elections in Umerkote in Nabarangpur district the BJD candidate won handily. The winning candidate from BJD had 54,713 votes while the candidate from BJP had 33,652 votes and from Congress had 32,877 votes.

In the 2009 elections the numbers were: BJD candidate – 44326, BJP candidate – 30,155, Congress candidate – 25,512.

Although this is just a single point data, but based on such data, my informal survey of people, my observations, and some other reasons I give below I predict the following:

  • BJD will win the next assembly and parliament elections handily in Odisha and it may even have more parliament seats than it got in 2009.

I now give some reasons for my prediction.

  • In the 2009 election BJD jettisoned BJP at the last moment; so it was not as prepared in some of the constituencies which had BJP representatives.
  • For the same reason, during the 2009 elections, in many people’s mind BJD and BJP were aligned together, while Congress was the opposition. So with the vote split between BJD and BJP, Congress was able to sneak through in some places.  Good examples of this situation are the Balasore and Sundergarh parliamentary constituents. In both places the BJP had strong candidates (in Kharabela Swain and Jual Oram, respectively) and thus the anti-Congress votes got split resulting in Congress wins in both places. The situation will be different in the next election. In the next election the anti-government votes will get split between Congress and BJP and both will do worse than they did in the 2009 elections.

Now let me list some of the attributes of the BJD party and its government and some points regarding the situation in Odisha.

  • BJD’s supremo is a gentleman and closely guards his party members at all levels to follow some basic principles. There are aberrations, but he sorts them out expeditiously. Following is what I mean.
    • The state ministers have very little authority or power. That way they don’t have much of an opportunity to engage in corruption; they can not do any corruption on behalf of the MLAs; the MLAs themselves or party workers at lower level  can not indulge in any big corruption. So in general, there is no (or very little) visible corruption among BJD MLAs and ministers, especially towards personal gain. (Note: All parties in India get their party funds from various sources. There is some corruption involved in that.)
    • The state functions via the bureaucrats and the important departments are headed by bureaucrats that have more or less spotless reputations. So the corruption by higher bureaucracy is not there.
    • With a long running government BJD has a lot of party workers, but they are not like cadres of other parties. They are restrained from indulging in violence or similar activities that would antagonize the people. The BJD party and the Odisha government’s way of dealing with Kalinganagar and POSCO situation and its comparison with Singur is illuminating. In both Kalinganagar and POSCO, although the opposition parties have indulged in unlawful and sometimes violent methods, the BJD party has not countered with its cadres. The government has followed the strategy of wearing people out with time and leaving matters to law and order authorities but with strict instructions to be soft. Thus, even though some newspapers published by opposition parties have used the term "BJD goondas", the public does not have such a view of BJD having a goonda cadre.
  • BJD has given SOPs to the poor people (2 Kg rice), have indulged in populist people pleasing policies (bicycle for girls), and has sincerely helped people during calamities. So its popularity among common people is growing.
  • In essence, the government and the BJD party is not heavy handed and not arrogant and is perceived as people friendly. Ofcourse pockets of people are unhappy in places (e.g. Dhinikia) where promotion of industry clashes with people wanting to be left alone or people agitated by others; but by the government and its party not being heavy handed, arrogant or violent, such unhappyness is localized and as in Kalinganagar, it decreases with time. 
  • The *local* media–especially the top news papers–in Odisha keep a sharp eye on the government. They scrutinize every action and inaction of the government and are mostly critical of the government. They rarely praise any government initiatives. If one is not careful, one solely reading the local media may start having a distorted image of Odisha. But, although, I often feel bad by the negative portrayal of  many things in the local media I realize that in the big picture view, this is good for Odisha. It keeps the government on its toes, keeps it in check, and prevents it from being arrogant. Once one takes the perspective that the job of the opposition and the local medial is to "oppose", "criticize" and "scrutinize" every government actions, and they are able to do that well and freely, then it is easier to get a better picture. Reading some comparative articles in the national media, such as this, also helps.

So how does BJD winning another term after this term reflect on Odisha’s future.

  • It means that the current policies will continue and some of the big projects will happen. In particular, POSCO will go the Kalinagnagar way with the resistance slowly decreasing and development creeping in. Already a good chunk of the land has been acquired and basic efforts for construction (such as access roads) have started. The opposition can stop some of the land being acquired but they can not lawfully stop construction to happen in land that has already been acquired. They are trying, but I don’t see such unlawful efforts being sustainable. Similarly, if the Supreme Court gives ok to the Vedanta University land acquisition so far, then that will happen too. For both these big projects one can look back at Kalinganagar and Dhamara as models. In both Kalinagnagar and Dhamara, it took much longer than originally projected, but they happened. My prediction is same with respect to POSCO and Vedanta University.
  • Although by various measures (of investment) Odisha is among the leading states in the country there is the perception that things move very slow here. The perception is true, but perhaps moving slow is necessary. Running roughshod over the people backfires in many ways. Again, Singur, West Bengal is a good example of that. Also, Chandrababu Naidu’s fast moving steps did not help him win the next election. So Odisha will move forward in a slow and steady manner slowly modifying some of the people’s anti-industry attitude and taking them along.

The above are broad stroke observations. There would be exceptions at individual levels. Similarly, the predictions are based on assuming that no abnormal events happen; the future is unpredictable and small events can change everything.

Now what can Odisha and BJD do better.

  • Rope in good technocrats and have more people with decision making authority: I think BJD and Odisha would do better if BJD ropes in some good technocrats who have spotless reputations. There is so much one CM and a few trusted officers can do. The party needs to find a few more people within its ranks and increase its ranks with people it can trust (to be effective and not corrupt) and have more people with real decision making  authority.
  • Find ways to listen to local and regional voices: Currently, most in BJD are winning elections because of the party supremo’s image. Plus the tight control from above results in that they do not have much of a voice in government decisions. As a result they are not able to forcefully state regional aspirations and demands. This results in regional aspirations and demands being sidelined. For example, in this site we have highlighted many demands of Rourkela people. Because the local representatives (MLAs and one of them happen to be a minister) do not have much of a voice, for little things (like a new train) they have to hit the streets. This is not healthy and could ultimately result in BJD’s downfall and/or more vocal demands to split the state. If the MLAs and ministers can not be fully trusted and the trusted officers rule the roost in the government, may be a few more senior officers (besides the RDCs) can be each entrusted with a cluster of districts to look after. In particular, their job would be to bring to the higher level of the government demands and aspirations of people of those districts.

The Lalitgiri-Ratnagiri-Udaygiri ancient Buddhist knowledge center in Odisha; has been compared with Nalanda in the art history and archaeology literature

APPEAL to readers, CENTER & ODISHA, Historical places, Jajpur, Kalinganagar- Chandikhol- Paradip, Lalitgiri-Ratnagiri-Udaygiri, Odisha history, Universities: existing and upcoming Comments Off on The Lalitgiri-Ratnagiri-Udaygiri ancient Buddhist knowledge center in Odisha; has been compared with Nalanda in the art history and archaeology literature

(Appeal to readers: I would appreciate any additional pointers to literature where the knowledge center aspects of the Odisha buddhist monuments have been discussed and/or they have been compared with the well-known buddhist sites in India such as Nalanda, Bodhgaya, Sanchi, etc.)

We all have read about Nalanda and Taxila as ancient learning centers and they are often referred to the as precursor of the present day universities. In Odisha the yet to be identified Puspagiri mahavihara as well as the Lalitgiri-Ratnagiri-Udaygiri  have been compared with Nalanda in the art history and Buddhist literature. Following are some slides (in facebook) which compiles that information. In these slides we quote extensively from Mrs. Debala Mitra’s two books. Mrs. Mitra was the Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India (1975-1983) [Page 448 of this book] and has written extensively on various Monuments of India.


The above slides do not have any pictures. As is mentioned in some of the slides, the Lalitgiri-Ratnagiri-Udaygiri Mahaviharas are also comparable to Bodhgaya in certain respects and one slide mentioned how none of the monasteries in Nalanda can compare with the embellishment in one of the monastery found in Ratnagiri. The following pictures, again from facebook, gives one the idea of what has been found in Lalitgiri-Ratnagiri-Udaygiri and the beauty and significance of them.

In 2010 the Indian Parliament passed the Nalanda International University Bill. This university is in the making now and this wikipedia page has information on it. We hope that some day more people in Odisha and India will know about Lalitgiri-Ratnagiri-Udaygiri and a similar university (perhaps called Puspagiri University, the yet to be identified Mahavihara about which Hiuen Tsang wrote glowingly) will be established in Odisha. Towards that effort some background information has been compiled in a facebook page and a facebook account. Following is a glimpse of the information that has been collected.

Additional land for NIT Rourkela and operationalizing Rourkela airport discussed by the Chief Secretary: Samaja

High Court, Marquee Institutions: existing and upcoming, Medical, nursing and pharmacy colleges, Rourkela, Rourkela- Kansbahal, Samaja (in Odia), Sundergarh, Universities: existing and upcoming 2 Comments »

As per their 2010 placement brochure, NIT Rourkela has 675 acres and following some high court order would be expanding by adding another 400 acres. The following Samaja article talks about that expansion.

It is great that this discussion came up at the Chief Secretary level. With stability at that position for next several years pursuing a comprehensive development agenda for Rourkela with him could work well. Some of the issues that should be pursued with him include:

  • Medical Colleges (ESIC, SAIL)
  • University (a comprehensive metropolitan university with all branches)
  • A national level sports or physical education institute or university (upgrade existing sports academies)
  • Airport
  • Raiway issues (world class station, Division HQ, Talcher-Bimlagarh line; more trains)
  • Declaring greater Rourkela as a municipal corporation
  • Public transport inside Rourkela
  • Enticing IT/BPO industries to take advantage of the cosmopolitan demography to set shop there; Development of IT parks.
  • Encouraging various companies in RKL to further contribute with respect to HRD (SAIL medical and Engineering College, etc.)

Please suggest more.

We discussed this earlier in greater length at See also

After Cairn Energy acquisition Anil Agarwal could become the richest Indian

Anil Agarwal, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Puri, Universities: existing and upcoming, Vedanta Comments Off on After Cairn Energy acquisition Anil Agarwal could become the richest Indian

I don’t fully understand how this works, but following excerpt from a report in may shed light to some.

The proposed takeover of Cairn Energy’s India business could see NRI billionaire Anil Agarwal emerging as the richest promoter of a corporate house ahead of Mukesh Ambani, who has ruled the list for long.

After the acquisition of Cairn India and a proposed IPO of group firm Sterlite Energy, Anil Agarwal, as head of the promoter family, would command an estimated networth of close to Rs 1,67,000 crore, ahead of Mukesh Ambani at Rs 1,45,275 crore, a comparison of promoter family holding valuations for leading groups reveals.

… At the same time, the acquisition would give the Agarwal family double the size of Anil Ambani group (whose promoter wealth currently stands at less than Rs 80,000 crore). The $ 9.6 billion takeover of Cairn India has already pushed Vedanta group head Anil Agarwal to the second position after Mukesh Ambani in terms of family net worth, measured in terms of value of shares held as promoters in five listed group companies.

Add to this, the value of shares he holds in aluminium major Balco and IPO-bound group firm Sterlite Energy, the promoter family wealth of Anil Agarwal group could rise to nearly Rs 1,66,938 crore.

In comparison, the promoter family wealth of Mukesh Ambani group currently stands at Rs 1,45,276 crore, based on the value of promoter holdings in two listed group firms Reliance Industries and Reliance Industrial Infrastructure. Without Sterlite Energy, which has proposed an initial public offer of Rs 5,100 crore, and Balco, where Vedanta group has 51 per cent stake, the total promoter family networth of the Vedanta group currently stands at Rs 1,38,465 crore. This includes the value of promoter shares in Sterlite, Hindustan Zinc, Sesa Goa (all listed in India) and that in UK-listed Vedanta Resources, as also the worth of proposed 60 per cent stake in Cairn India proposed to be purchased from Scotland-based Cairn Energy.

The total networth would rise by over Rs 28,000 crore if Balco is taken at par with its peer group company Nalco, which has a market cap of Rs 25,830 crore, and the group offloads 25 per cent stake in Sterlite Energy to raise Rs 5,100 crore.

Note that Rs 1,66,938 crore at today’s exchange rate of 1 USD = Rs 46.6525 comes to $35.78 Billion. That would put him at number 4 in the world. If a person of such net worth wants to establish a $3 billion university in Odisha and we turn him away that will the height of stupidity in our part. 

Jharsuguda to be the country’s largest power producer city: Samaja

Coal, Engineering and MCA Colleges, Jharsugurha, Jharsugurha- Brajarajnagar- Belpahar, Samaja (in Odia), Thermal, Universities: existing and upcoming 2 Comments »

I don’t know if being the largest power producer city is something good by itself. In general heavy industrialization is happening in Jharsuguda, and a full-fledged airport is coming up there.
However, matching HRD institutions and other amenities are not being made there. There are universities (Sambalpur U and VSSUT) and a medical college in Burla which is about 50 kms away, but none (except the private engineering college, Black Diamond) in Jharsuguda or its adjacent industrial townships of Belphar and Barajarajnagar. This needs to be corrected. Following are some quick thoughts.

  • Branches of Sambalpur U and VSSUT should be established there.
  • Jharsuguda Engineering School should be upgraded to an engineering college.
  • One of the local companies, especially the ones mining in Ib, should be pushed to establish a medical college there.

Update on Vedanta’s plan with respect to Odisha: steel plant in partnership with L & T; hostel for engineering college in Bhawanipatna; trauma unit in Bhubaneswar

Aluminium, Anil Agarwal, Bauxite, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Business Standard, Iron Ore, Jharsugurha, Jharsugurha- Brajarajnagar- Belpahar, Kalahandi, Khordha, Steel, Thermal, Universities: existing and upcoming, Vedanta 1 Comment »

Following are excerpts from a report in

Odisha’s Power sector gets a relief as the first Unit of 2400 Independent Power Plant (IPP) at Jharsuguda would be commissioned in coming Summer’, he said to the media after meeting the Chief Minister.

This will add 600 MW to the state’s power production capacity and can help the State Government in facing the current power crisis. 

Mr. Agarwal revealed that construction work of world class Vedanta University near Puri has already started. 

At the first stage, the University will have a 1000 bed super specialty hospital and Medical College, also academic building. 

Vedanta Boss also informed the meeting that Lanjigarh refinery is fully operational by sourcing bauxite from other states, incurring a huge opportunity loss for both states as well as company. 

State Government has assured to look into the issue seriously and try to work out for an immediate solution. 

Construction activities for a specialized burn and trauma care centre at Bhubaneswar would begin very soon.

Following is an excerpt from a report in Business Standard.

After committing an investment of Rs 60,000 crore on various projects in Orissa including an aluminium smelter plant, an alumina refinery unit and a mega university project, London-based Vedanta Resources Plc has now evinced interest in setting up a steel plant in the state.

Vedanta plans to set up the steel plant in collaboration with engineering and construction major Larsen and Toubro (L&T).

… However, he did not provide details like capacity of the proposed steel plant, location and investment. It may be noted that in October 2004, Sterlite Iron and Steel Company, a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources, had inked an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the state government for setting up a five million tonne per annum steel plant. The steel plant was to set up at Palasponga in the state’s Keonjhar district at an investment of Rs 12,502 crore. However, the project is yet to take off.

On bauxite supplies, Agarwal said, he has informed the state chief minister that Vedanta’s alumina refinery plant at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district is operational and the company is sourcing bauxite from other states to run this refinery.

The chief minister has assured that us that bauxite supplies would not be a problem in Orissa which has the fourth largest deposits of the mineral ore in the country, Agarwal informed.

He further said the company is adhering to the environmental norms in running the Lanjigarh refinery, adding, “Our refinery at Lanjigarh is a world class refinery and it is a zero discharge and zero waste unit. …"

He pointed out that the company would commence mining operations at Niyamgiri hills in Kalahandi district after getting the environmental clearance.

Agarwal said, Vedanta has already invested Rs 39,000 crore on various projects in Orissa and these projects have generated direct and indirect employment for about two lakh people.

Vedanta Aluminium has also decided to set aside five per cent of its net profit or Rs 10 crore every year on welfare activities of the tribals of Lanjigarh. The amount will be spent on meeting the needs of the tribals in areas like education, livelihood and health.

The company will also build the hostel for the proposed engineering college of the state government at Bhawanipatna.

On the 2400 MW (6×400) power plant at Jharsuguda, Agarwal said, the first unit of the independent power project (600 MW) will be operational from the ensuing summer.

Talking on the company’s proposed university project, he said, “We have huge local support for our university project and at first we will set up a 1000 bed state-of-the-art hospital as a part of the project.” Apart from the 1000 bed hospital, Vedanta has also firmed up plans to set up a 100-bed burn and trauma care centre at Gangapada on the outskirts of the city. Construction work on this centre wold take off very soon, Agarwal stated.

Excerpts from the Presidents’ speech to the new parliament on 4th June 2009

Aaam Admi Bima Yojana, ADMINISTRATION & REPs, Agricultural insurance, Bharat Nirman Program, E-governance, Elections 2009, Fishermen insurance, Health insurance for BPL workers, Health insurance for weavers, Marquee Institutions: existing and upcoming, National Food ... (NFSM), National Old Age Pension (NOAP), NFBS, NMBS, NOAPS, NREGS, NSAP: NOAPS, NFBS, NMBS, NURM, JNNURM, PPP, RURAL & SPECIAL PROGRAMS, Universities: existing and upcoming Comments Off on Excerpts from the Presidents’ speech to the new parliament on 4th June 2009

The whole speech is at Following are excerpts. The underlining and other emphasis is mine.

18. The flagship programmes which my Government introduced have moved the country towards inclusive development. It would be our endeavour to consolidate these programmes in the next five years. The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act has proved to be what it promised-an effective social protection measure and the largest programme in the world for rural reconstruction. Its transformational potential is unfolding before our eyes. My Government would enlarge the scope of works permitted under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act presently limited to unskilled manual work. The opportunity for improving land productivity through the NREGA will be maximized through better convergence of NREGA with other programmes. To ensure transparency and public accountability, independent monitoring and grievance redressal mechanisms will be set up at the district level.

19. The National Rural Health Mission has begun to strengthen rural public health infrastructure. The Mission would be consolidated to make perceptible reduction in infant mortality and maternal mortality in the next five years. Vaccine producing institutes in the public sector will be revived to support the immunization programme. My Government will expand the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana to cover all families below the poverty line in the next five years. Malnutrition has emerged as a major health challenge needing urgent response. Hence the nutrition delivery programme will be comprehensively revamped to bring it under the watch of panchayat institutions and move to provision of hot cooked meals in anganwadis.

20. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan has been able to provide access to children to elementary schools and retention has increased on account of the universal mid-day meal programme. The focus will be on making quality education a right through the enactment of the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Bill now under consideration of Parliament. The Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan will universalize access to secondary education. The massive expansion in higher education through new institutions under implementation in the Eleventh Plan will enable the country to meet the challenge of education in full measure. In the last five years, a wide range of scholarships and educational loans was introduced for the needy and deserving students. This effort will be reviewed and further strengthened. Government’s strategy for higher education will be formulated around a three-fold objective of expansion, inclusion and excellence. The suggestions given by the National Knowledge Commission will guide the formulation and implementation of the strategy.

21. While male literacy went up to over 75 percent in the last census and is expected to be higher now, female literacy was only 54 percent in 2001. My Government will recast the National Literacy Mission as a National Mission for Female Literacy to make every woman literate in the next five years. Increased female literacy is expected to become a force multiplier for all our social development programmes.

22. My Government launched Bharat Nirman five years ago as a time-bound business plan for rural infrastructure. It has succeeded in reaching basic infrastructure of roads, electricity and telephone to a large number of villages. It has also achieved most of the targets of rural water supply, rural housing and has increased irrigation potential. The remaining tasks will be completed in the second phase of Bharat Nirman. It is also proposed to set enhanced targets for Bharat Nirman in the second phase.

The Indira Awas Yojana, which exceeded the original target of sixty lakh houses for the period 2004-2009, will now take up double the target of rural housing to one crore twenty lakh houses to be completed in the next five years.

Rural Water supply programme will be completed by 2011 and handed over to be managed by panchayats in the next Plan.

The rural telecommunication target will be set at reaching 40% rural teledensity in the next five years and expanding broadband coverage to connect every panchayat to a broadband network in three years. The scheme for Common Service Centres or e-kiosks will be suitably repositioned to be a network of panchayat-level Bharat Nirman Common Service Centres to provide government services to citizens in rural areas.

– New targets would be set for rural electrification, irrigation and road connectivity.

23. The Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) with approval of projects of nearly Rs. 50,000 crore in the last four years is reshaping our cities and has been widely welcomed. It will continue to focus on infrastructure, basic services and governance reform and increase support to cities to upgrade public transport. Over 15 lakh houses are under construction for the urban poor. There is a need to focus urban housing programmes on the poor living in slums. My Government proposes to introduce a Rajiv Awas Yojana for the slum dwellers and the urban poor on the lines of the Indira Awas Yojana for the rural poor. The schemes for affordable housing through partnership and the scheme for interest subsidy for urban housing would be dovetailed into the Rajiv Awas Yojana which would extend support under JNNURM to States that are willing to assign property rights to people living in slum areas. My Government’s effort would be to create a slum free India in five years through the Rajiv Awas Yojana.

24. My Government proposes to enact a new law — the National Food Security Act — that will provide a statutory basis for a framework which assures food security for all. Every family below the poverty line in rural as well as urban areas will be entitled, by law, to 25 kilograms of rice or wheat per month at Rs. 3 per kilogram. This legislation will also be used to bring about broader systemic reform in the public distribution system.

26. Over 50 percent of our population is below 25 years of age and their creative energy is our greatest strategic resource. The challenge is to invest in their education, employability and employment. India has the capacity to contribute to a fourth of the global work force if it invests in skill development of its youth. Education which provides employable skills holds the key for equal opportunities for Other Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Minorities. My Government has in the last five years brought in legal changes and investment in this direction. These would be consolidated. Besides making massive investment in education, government will focus on the national skill development initiative that has commenced operation with the very ambitious goal of creation of 500 million skilled people by 2022 so that we realize the demographic dividend.

27. The implementation of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act would be monitored to ensure that all title deeds are distributed by end of 2009.

29. The Amendment Bill to the Land Acquisition Act and the Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill prepared to protect farmers and others dependent on farming from unfair displacement and which was placed before Parliament could not be carried through. It will be our endeavour to have these bills reintroduced and enacted in the budget session of Parliament.

30. My Government considerably enhanced provisions for social security through old age pension for all people below the poverty line and above 65 years of age, all handicapped people and all widows above the age of forty. It will examine extending social protection to other persons at special risk. Social security schemes for other occupations like landless labour, weavers, fisherfolk, toddy tappers, leather workers, plantation labour, construction labour, mine workers and beedi workers will be appropriately expanded.

32. My Government will initiate steps within the next hundred days on the following measures:

Restructuring the Backward Regions Grant Fund, which overlaps with other development investment, to focus on decentralized planning and capacity building of elected panchayat representatives. The next three years would be devoted to training panchayat raj functionaries in administering flagship programmes;

A public data policy to place all information covering non-strategic areas in the public domain. It would help citizens to challenge the data and engage directly in governance reform;

– Increasing transparency and public accountability of NREGA by enforcing social audit and ensuring grievance redressal by setting up district level ombudsman;

Strengthening Right to Information by suitably amending the law to provide for disclosure by government in all non-strategic areas;

– Strengthening public accountability of flagship programmes by the creation of an Independent Evaluation Office at an arm’s distance from the government catalysed by the Planning Commission. It would work on a network model by collaborating with leading social science research organizations and concurrently evaluate the impact of flagship programmes and place it in the public domain;

– Establishing mechanisms for performance monitoring and performance evaluation in government on a regular basis;

– Five Annual Reports to be presented by government as Reports to the People on Education, Health, Employment, Environment and Infrastructure to generate a national debate;

– Facilitating a Voluntary Technical Corps of professionals in all urban areas through JNNURM to support city development activities;

– Enabling non government organisations in the area of development action seeking government support through a web-based transaction on a government portal in which the status of the application will be transparently monitorable;

Provision of scholarships and social security schemes through accounts in post offices and banks and phased transition to smart cards;

– Revamping of banks and post offices to become outreach units for financial inclusion complemented by business correspondents aided by technology;

Electronic governance through Bharat Nirman common service centres in all panchayats in the next three years;

– A model Public Services Law, that covers functionaries providing important social services like education, health, rural development etc. and commits them to their duties, will be drawn up in consultation with states;

A National Council for Human Resources in Health as an overarching regulatory body for the health sector to reform the current regulatory framework and enhance supply of skilled personnel;

A National Council for Higher Education as recommended by the Yashpal Committee and the National Knowledge Commission to bring in reform of regulatory institutions;

Develop a "brain gain" policy to attract talent from all over the world into the 14 universities proposed in the 11th plan to position them as "Innovation Universities";

– A roadmap for judicial reform to be outlined in six months and implemented in a time-bound manner;

– Targeted identification cards would subsume and replace omnibus Below Poverty Line (BPL) list. NREGA has a job card and the proposed Food Security Act would also create a new card. Identification of beneficiaries for other programmes which currently use the omnibus BPL list would improve identification based on programme objectives with the common underlying principle that all identification of beneficiaries will be done through gram sabhas and urban local bodies and the list placed in the public domain to be open to challenge;

– A Delivery Monitoring Unit in the Prime Minister’s Office to monitor flagship programmes and iconic projects and report on their status publicly;

– Suitably institutionalized quarterly reporting on Flagship programmes as "Bharat Nirman Quarterly Reports" where Ministers would publicly report on progress through the media.

33. Infrastructure is a fundamental enabler for a modern economy and infrastructure development will be a key focus area for the next five years. Public investment in infrastructure is of paramount importance. Bottlenecks and delays in implementation of infrastructure projects because of policies and procedures, especially in railways, power, highways, ports, airports and rural telecom will be systematically removed. Public-private partnership (PPP) projects are a key element of the strategy. A large number of PPP projects in different areas currently awaiting government approval would be cleared expeditiously. The regulatory and legal framework for PPPs would be made more investment friendly. My Government will continue its special emphasis on infrastructure development in the North-East and Jammu and Kashmir and enhance connectivity to these regions.

34. Our fellow citizens have every right to own part of the shares of public sector companies while the government retains majority shareholding and control. My Government will develop a roadmap for listing and people-ownership of public sector undertakings while ensuring that government equity does not fall below 51 %.

35. My Government is firmly committed to maintaining high growth with low inflation, particularly in relation to prices of essential agricultural and industrial commodities. It will steadfastly observe fiscal responsibility so that the ability of the Centre to invest in essential social and economic infrastructure is continuously enhanced. This will require that all subsidies reach only the truly needy and poor sections of our society. A national consensus will be created on this issue and necessary policy changes implemented.

36. My Government has been able to significantly increase realization of direct taxes as a result of improved and simplified tax administration and this process will continue. The roadmap for moving towards a Goods and Services Tax will be vigorously pursued. My Government is fully seized of the issue of illegal money of Indian citizens outside the country in secret bank accounts. It will vigorously pursue all necessary steps in coordination with the countries concerned.

37. Coordinated action for energy would be guided by the integrated energy policy. The effort would be to see that at least 13,000 MW of generating capacity is added each year through a mix of sources -coal, hydel, nuclear and renewables. Village and rural household electrification and reduction in aggregate technical and commercial losses will continue to be given the highest priority. Competitiveness and efficiency in the power sector will be enhanced through time-bound measures, including operationalising the provision of open access.

38. The pace of oil and gas exploration will be intensified and India’s oil diplomacy aggressively pursued. Reforms in the coal sector, for which a detailed blueprint has been prepared, will be pursued with urgency. The international civil nuclear agreements will be operationalised with various countries even as domestic sources of uranium are exploited and work continues on the indigenously designed fast breeder and thorium reactors.

39. My Government will ensure that our space programme which has achieved wide recognition continues to bring rich dividends to society in agriculture, tele-medicine, tele-education and by providing information to rural knowledge centres, besides contributing to telecommunication, television broadcasting and weather forecasting. Several innovative initiatives commenced by government in the science and technology sector in the last five years and now under implementation will be further strengthened.

40. My Government is proactively addressing issues of climate change through eight national missions. Of these the National Solar Mission, the National Water Mission, the National Mission on Energy Efficiency, the National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture and the National Mission on Sustainable Habitat will be launched by the end of this year. The National Ganga River Basin Authority, set up recently will evolve a new action plan for cleaning and beautifying the river in partnership with the basin states.

Vedanta’s plan for Orissa

Aluminium, Anil Agarwal, Bauxite, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Jharsugurha, Jharsugurha- Brajarajnagar- Belpahar, Marquee Institutions: existing and upcoming, Medical, nursing and pharmacy colleges, Puri,, Thermal, Universities: existing and upcoming Comments Off on Vedanta’s plan for Orissa

Following is an excerpt from a report in

… Mr.Agarwal impressed upon the Chief Minister that his group is eager to expand the .50 million ton smelter in Jharsuguda to a 1.6 million ton per annum (MTPA)

Naveen Patnaik, asked the Chief Secretary to look into the matter finalize the expansion program, said sources. 

Mr.Agarwal updated the Chief Minister about the status of Vedanta’s ongoing projects in the state here on 3 January..

The Alumina Project at Lanjigarh, Smelter and Power Projects at Jharsuguda and the University project at Puri is being implemented by the Vedanta group.

On Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) front, adoption of 400 anganwadis, providing education for 14000 children at Kalahandi are being implemented, briefed Mr.Agarwal.

Mr. Agarwal agreed to extend the coverage to 40000 children and agreed to introduce the Mid Day Meal scheme for 30000 primary and the secondary level school student in the state through Nandi and Sterlite Foundation as the Chief Minister requested him.

He also announced a 100 bedded state-of-the-art multi-speciality hospital at Jharsuguda will provide medical facility to the local people.

Chairman Vedanta group reiterated his earlier commitment to build a 1000 bedded super-specialty hospital at Puri.

It was also informed that the design and the engineering has been completed and construction is to begin soon.

In addition Mr Agarwal put forth his plans of setting up of a downstream Aluminium Park in collaboration with the government to promote as many as 600 small and medium scale industries at Jharsuguda

The project will generate large scale employment opportunities and additional economic activities in the region.

Currently the Vedanta Group’s investment commitments are in excess of Rs 50,000 crores, half of which has already been invested in various projects of Orissa.

Vedanta is presently generating a huge number of direct and indirect employment for approximately 25000 people, eighty percent of which belong to the state of Orissa.

After the meeting the CM, Mr Agarwal told reporters that all the ongoing projects of Vedanta would continue as per schedule in spite of the recent global recession.

He also assured that in his personal capacity he would make all possible efforts to complete the Vedanta University Project, a world class University at par with the Havard and Stanford University of U,S.A.

He has already committed personal contribution of Rs 5000 crore towards this project.

Universities and university level Institutes in the greater Bhubaneswar area: existing and upcoming

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Vedanta University project to illuminate Puri beach

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Following is an excerpt on this from a report in Pioneer.

The Vedanta group has been entrusted by the Beach Development Committee to illuminate the city beach. In wake of failure of Government and NGOs to provide weather sustainable lights in the five kilometre stretch of beach along the city’s coast even after spending about Rs 1 crore, the committee had requested the Vedanta University project officials to take up the work. At the Saturday meeting of the committee, the officials of Vedanta had agreed to the proposal.

Orissa shortsighted in its Railway requests

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Following is an excerpt from Pioneer, which mentions what Orissa has requested.

The House Committee of the State Legislative Assembly would soon submit a memorandum to the Union Ministry of Railways demanding Rs 1,000 crore in the Railway Budget for 2008-09. In this connection, a delegation lead by Assembly Speaker Maheswar Mohanty would visit New Delhi on a possible date between November 10 to 17.

During their visit they would meet the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and submit the memorandum. The House Committee in its meeting on Monday approved the final draft of the memorandum. It may be noted that during 2006-07, the State demanded Rs 785 crore.

In its memorandum, the committee also recommends increase in allotment for ongoing projects, sanction of new railway lines, survey, and introduction of new trains, completion of sanctioned projects, electrification and doubling of lines.

For the expansion of Haridaspur-Paradeep (82 km) line, the committee demands Rs 150 crore to ensure expeditious completion of works. The Ministry of Railways has also been requested to allot Rs 100 crore for the Lanjigarh Road-Junagarha (56 km) line and ensure commissioning of the section between Lanjigarh to Bhawanipatna by December, 2008.

The Committee in its memorandum also demanded an allotment of Rs 100 crore for the Khurda Road-Bolangir (289 km) line and also of commissioning the section from 0-36 km.

On the Angul-Duburi-Sukinda road (90 km) project, the land acquisition process is yet to commence. The Ministry of Railways has been requested to allot Rs 50 crore for the project, the Committee said in its memorandum.

For the Talcher-Bimalagarh (154 km), the Committee demanded an allotment of Rs 50 crore for 2008-09. On the Daitari- Banspani Rail Link Project (155 km), the committee in its memorandum says the BG (Broad Gauge) rail link was commissioned in February,2007. However, residual works will have to be completed. The Ministry of Railways has been requested to allocate Rs 50 crore for this project. It also urged the Railway Ministry to take up gauge conversion works for Rupsa-Bangiriposi and Nuapada-Gunpur railway link.

In its memorandum, the committee also urged the Rail Ministry to start new lines connecting Jeypor-Malknagiri, Bargarha-Nuapda via Padamapur, conversion and extension of Nuapada-Gunupur BG raillink to Theruvali, Jaleswar-Digha, Puri-Konark, Talcher-Gopalpur, Rupsa-Bangiriposi to Gorumahisani, Badampahar to Keonjhar, Berhampur to Phulbani.

The Committee in its memorandum also urged the Ministry to take up survey works in Gopalpur-Rayagada, Jajpur-Keonjhar Road-Jajpur, Sambalpur-Berhampur, Bolangir-Nawapara, Bansapani to Bimalgarh, Lanjhigarha to Boudha via Charichhaka.

It also urged the Railway Ministry to take steps for doubling of the Sambalpur-Talcher BG Rail link, Daitari-Bansapani. The Ministry has also been requested to sanction electrification for Daitari-Banspani BG rail link, Haridaspur-Paradeep BG Rail link, Talcher- Sambalpur BG rail link and Sambalpur, Jharsuguda BG rail link.

I think Orissa is being very shortsighted in its requests. Let me elaborate on this. (See also and for more data points on this.)

1. The total IR budget in 2006-07 was 23,475 crores and in 2007-08 (1st year of 11th Five yr plan) total Ir budget was 31,000 crores. IR is planning to have a 251,000 crore budget for the 11th Five year plan.

2. In that context Orissa asked for 800 crores in 2006-07 and 830 crores in 2007-08.
The above news report says that we are asking 1000 crores for next year.

3. Based on (1), 220,000 crores will be the total IR budget for the next 4 years and next years budget would probably be 45,000-50,000 crores; almost double that of 2006-07. Thus we should at least ask for double of what we asked in 2006-07. I.e., we should ask for 1600 crores.

4. The Pioneer article has the laundry list of things that we want, and it adds up only to 1000 crores. So we have to be imaginative in what we ask. In this we must note that a big part of the 11th plan IR budget goes towards

(a) two freight corridors (neither passing through Orissa)

(b) high speed rail corridors (none passing through Orissa) and

(c) several metro rails (none in Orissa).
In addition we must note what can be sold to the PM and Rail M. (For example: Rail connectivity to KBK, adivasi areas and naxal areas can be sold if the CM makes a case for them. If every other metro area is going to have metro rail, we can at least sell commuter/sub-urban rail. Similarly, big rail stations like Vizag, which are not in the first list of world class stations, will try to be in the next list; so we must sell Rourkela to be in the next list of world class stations. etc.)
5. Hence, following are my suggestions that we should add:

(i) We should send a 1 year proposal as well as a 4-5 year proposal. The 4-5 year proposal will match the 11th five year plan. The 4-5 year proposal should mention clearly that by the end of year 4-5, the following lines should all be completed.
** Khurda-Balangir
** Gunupur-Theruvali
** Lanjigarh Rd – Bhawanipatna – Junagarh – Nabarangpur- Jeypore – Malkangiri – Bhadrachalam Rd (Andhra Pradesh)
** Talcher – Bimlagarh
** Bangiriposi -Gurumahishasini and/or Buramara-Chakulia.
in addition to the port connectivity lines of
** Haridaspur – Paradip
** Talcher – Sukinda Rd
** Bhadrakh Dhamara
and the tourism/education connectivity lines of
** Jaleswar – Digha
** Puri-Vedanta U – Konark

Its very important to get a commitment with respect to what should be done with respect to Orissa in the 11th plan.

(ii) We must ask for a rail factory, or two, possibly in PPP mode, to be established in a backward region of Orissa. (Last year they approved 2 in Bihar, one in Rae Bareli and one in Kerala)
(iii) Establishment of suburban-Rail infrastructure around Bhubaneswar with MEMUs and appropriate stations in the Bhubaneswar area to help the commuters without creating jams. The infrastructure is to encompass the following lines.

* Bhubaneswar-Khurda Rd – Puri – Vedanta U – Konark (Past Puri would be new)
* Bhubaneswar – Barang – Naraj-Dhenkanal (exists)
* Bhubaneswar-KhurdaRd – Khurda-Nayagarh (part of Khurda-Balangir)
* Bhubaneswar-Cuttack-Paradeep (exists)
* Bhubaneswar-Khurda Rd – Balugaon-Berhampur (exists)
* Bhubaneswar-Cuttack-Jajpur Rd-Bhadrakh (exists)
* Bhubaneswar-Cuttack-Jakhapura-Daitari (exists)
* Bhubaneswar-Naraj-Salagaon (exists)
* Bhubaneswar-Khurda Rd – Khurda-Banki-Naraj (Khurda-Naraj will be new and will create a loop)

(iv) Include Rourkela in the next round of world class stations.
Finally, if the Orissa house is sending a delegation to the PM and Rail M; they should also visit the planning commission and ask for IIT and two central universities (KBK Central U and upgradation of Ravenshaw University.)

Latest HRD roundup from

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HRD Roundup from

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Orissa Budget 2007-08: Speech by the Finance Minister on 1st June 2007

AGRICULTURE & FARMING, Budget, State, HRD-n-EDUCATION (details at, KBK Plus district cluster, Roads, highways and Bus stands, TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATION, Universities: existing and upcoming, Websites of Interest, WIRED & Wireless ODISHA Comments Off on Orissa Budget 2007-08: Speech by the Finance Minister on 1st June 2007

From the Budget pages The speech, in pdf, is located here. Following is a text version with some possible conversion errors.

Hon’ble Speaker Sir,

At the outset, I express my deep gratitude to you, Leader of this House, Hon’ble Chief Minister, Hon’ble Leader of the Opposition and all Members of this August House for having given me this opportunity to present the full-fledged Budget for the financial year 2007-08.

2. I would like to mention here that instead of full-fledged Budget for2007-08, a Vote on Account Budget for 4 months was presented by me on last 29th March. This Vote on Account Budget was passed by the Legislature. Now a full-fledged Budget for the financial year 2007-08 is presented for approval of this August House.

3. While presenting the Budget for the financial year 2007-08, I deem it proper to highlight some facts on the fiscal situation of the State for information of Hon’ble Members.

4. The State Government have taken many reform measures to correct the fiscal problems of the State. These include expenditure rationalization measures, revenue step-up measures, improvement in delivery system and proper utilization of limited resources etc. Needless to mention that through various additional resource mobilization and expenditure rationalization measures, there has been an improvement in fiscal management and notable results have been achieved. Some examples are as follows:

(i) Revenue deficit has been completely eliminated much before the financial year 2008-09 which was the target set by Medium Term Fiscal Plan.

(ii) While the revenue deficit of the State was Rs.2574.19 Crore in 1999-2000, this deficit was reduced to Rs.522.30 Crore in 2004-05. Our State has become a revenue surplus State from a revenue deficit State for the first time in 2005-06 after a long gap of 22 years. Revenue surplus has been estimated at Rs.1045.76 Crore in 2007-08.

(iii) Another significant aspect of financial management is achieving expected success in resource mobilization. It is to be mentioned here that because of State’s constant efforts, remarkable improvement in State’s own resources has been achieved since 1999-2000. Where as during 1999-2000, State’s own tax and non-tax revenue was Rs.2420.56 Crore, during 2004-05 this has reached Rs.5522.12 Crore and during 2005-06 the achievement was Rs.6534.18 Crore. While State’s own tax and non-tax revenue were estimated at Rs.6452.99 Crore in the original Budget for the year 2006-07, the same has been estimated at Rs.8196.28 Crore in 2007-08.

(iv) Another aspect of sound fiscal management is less dependence on Overdraft and Ways & Means advance from RBI. From 2005-06 onwards the State Government have neither resorted to Overdraft nor Ways & Means advance. This is indicative of the improvement in the financial management of State Government.

(v) 11th Finance Commission recommended that if the gap between State’s Revenue Deficit & Revenue Receipt remains within 5% during 2000-01 to 2004-05, the State Government would be eligible for Fiscal Incentive grant. Since the State Government was able to contain the revenue deficit within the stipulated percentage during the aforesaid period, Rs.315.35 Crore have been received towards Fiscal Incentive grant.

(vi) Similarly, as per recommendations of 12th Finance Commission, State Government have availed Debt Relief of Rs.381.90 Crore for fiscal achievement during 2004-05 and are also likely to get similar Debt Relief during 2006-07 for fiscal achievement during 2005-06.

(vii) On the other hand, whereas during 1999-2000, 79.17% of the net loan was used to meet revenue deficit, the revenue surplus during 2005-06 is Rs.481.19 Crore. Hence, there is no necessity at present to meet revenue deficit out of the loan amount.

(viii) Because of encouraging revenue mobilization efforts, the State Plan outlay has been increased to Rs.5105.00 Crore for the year 2007-08. While in the original Budget for 2006-07, the State Plan was fixed at Rs.3500.00 Crore, it was increased to Rs.3600.00 Crore as per the revised estimate for 2006-07. Compared to last year, the State Plan expenditure has remarkably increased this year, which will accelerate the pace of development of the State.

(ix) Despite success of the State Government in various fields, it is to be admitted that heavy debt burden is another indicator of weak fiscal situation. The State’s debt burden stands at Rs.36459.07 Crore as on 31.3.2006, which is 48.16% of the GSDP. As per the recommendations of the 12th Finance Commission, the Debt-GSDP ratio should be 28%. Similarly, as per the recommendations of the Commission, Interest Payment -Revenue Receipt ratio should be 15%. As against this, the ratio of Interest Payment to Revenue Receipt is 26.2% during 2005-06. I may point out here that it is not at all wrong to incur loan for carrying out developmental activities. But the loan should not be used to meet the Revenue Deficit. As a result of continuous efforts of the State Government, the ratio of Debt to total Revenue Receipt has been reduced from 308% in 1999-2000 to 259% in 2005-06.

(x) The State Government have been able to save Rs.144.47 Crore towards interest payment by swapping high cost loan with low cost loan as per Debt Swap Scheme of Govt. of India.

(xi) In the meantime, the State Government have resorted to Debt Buy-back and made pre-payment of high cost market loan amounting to Rs.394.61 Crore.

5. I would like to inform this August House that previously the Central Assistance to the State Government had the Grant and Loan component in the ratio of 30:70. But as per the recommendation of the 12th Finance Commission, State Government is now arranging the loan portion of the Central Assistance on its own. The system has been made effective from the financial year 2005-06. Moreover, Government of India had fixed the net loan ceiling of Government of Orissa at Rs.1677.00 Crore for the financial year 2006-07. In order to finance the State Plan outlay of Rs.5105 Crore finalised by the Planning Commission for the current financial year, the net loan has been estimated at Rs.1026.29 Crore in the Budget.

6. We shall have to reduce salary expenditure because salary expenditure constitutes 49% of the revenue expenditure net of Interest Payment and Pension. But as per the recommendation of the 12th Finance Commission, the ratio should be within 35%. In order to achieve this target, we shall have to work with patience and commitment. So it is my sincere belief that your unhesitating support, as in the past, will also continue.

7. It is a fact that in a welfare State, provision of expenditure is to be allocated keeping in view the problems of the people. But in the context of limited resources of the State, we shall have to prioritize the expenditure for the development of the State. The crux of the matter is to enhance the Capital Expenditure by curtailing unproductive expenditure, so that there will be space for infrastructure development as well as inflow of private investment.

8. Taking into account the State’s own tax & non-tax revenue, State’s share from central taxes and Grant-in-Aid from the Centre, while State’s total Revenue Receipt during 2007-08 has been estimated at Rs.19467.20 Crore, the Revenue Expenditure has been estimated at Rs.18421.44 Crore. As against the revenue surplus of Rs.481.20 Crore and Rs.747.76 Crore in 2005-06 and 2006-07 (Revised Estimate) respectively, it has been estimated at Rs.1045.76 Crore for 2007-08. On the other hand, in the Capital Account, the estimated expenditure would be more by Rs.1220.43 Crore than the receipt. The expenditure on account of Capital Outlay, disbursement of Loans and repayment of installment of earlier loans taken together would be more than the receipts from the loans and advances from different sources together
with the recovery of loans. In toto, the deficit in the Consolidated Fund has been estimated at Rs.174,67,04,000/-and an equal amount has been estimated as surplus in the Public Account. On the whole, the receipts and expenditure have been balanced taking into account the Revenue Account, Capital Account and Public Account together. Hence this is a Balanced Budget with revenue surplus.

9. I now like to present some of the highlights of the provisions made both under State Plan and Non-Plan sectors in the full fledged Budget for 2007-08.

10. Highlights of the State Plan I now point out the Highlights of State Plan Outlay.

• Ours is an agrarian State. So the popular Government Agriculture under the leadership of Hon’ble Chief Minister, Sri Department Naveen Patnaik, has given importance to enhance income of farmers by increasing production of traditional crop and diversion to high value cash crops, particularly to horticultural crops in high lands. While Rs.1.40 Crore was provided in the Budget for the 2006-07 for development of horticultural activities in 11 Non-Mission Districts, the same has been increased to Rs.3.05 Crore in the Budget for 2007-08.

• While Rs.20 lakh was provided in the original Budget for 2006-07 for Agriculture Promotion and Investment Corporation Limited (APICOL), Rs.50 lakhs has been provided in the Budget of the current year.

• While there was a provision of Rs.1.78 Crore for fertilizer, bio fertilizer, insecticide and bio-insecticide in the original Budget for 2006-07, Rs.5.51 Crore has been provided in the Budget for 2007-08.

• While there was no provision for Micro Irrigation Programme under State Plan Sector of Agriculture Department in the original Budget for 2006-07, Rs.50 lakh has been provided in the Budget for current financial year.

• While Rupees One Thousand was provided in the original Budget for 2006-07 towards subsidy under the new Agriculture Policy, the same has been enhanced to Rs.3 Crore in the Budget for 2007-08.

• For the first time, in order to encourage the cultivation of Potato, Vegetables & Spices, a sum of Rs.1 Crore has been provided in the Budget for 2007-08.

• Cultivators will be given due encouragement with a view to increasing the production of oil seeds like groundnut and cultivation of pulses and maize. Rs.10.49 Crore has been provided in the Budget for the year 2007-08 which includes State Share of Rs.2.72 Crore for providing assistance to this sector.

• You are all aware of the fact that priority is being given to Soil & Water Conservation through Watershed Development Programme by the Government under the leadership of Hon’ble Chief Minister, Sri Naveen Patnaik. The Budget estimate for 2007-08 provides Rs.18.40 Crores under the Work Plan for Macro Management of Agriculture towards development of Watersheds under NWDPRA and River Valley Projects.

• While the original State Plan for 2006-07 under Agriculture Department was Rs.48.08 Crore, it has been increased to Rs.60.65 Crore in 2007-08.

• While Rs.363.00 Crore was provided in the original Budget for the financial year 2006-07 for Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Scheme, the same has been increased to Rs.464.28 Crore in the Budget for the current year.

• A new scheme named “Biju Gram Jyoti” has been prepared in order to provide electricity in villages having population of less than 300 and for this purpose, Rs.50 Crore has been provided in the Budget of Energy Department in the current year.

• The State Government has implemented a new scheme known as Biju K.B.K. Yojana in K.B.K. Districts in 2006-07 in the name of legendary leader late Biju Patnaik and a sum of Rs.120.00 Crore has been provided for this purpose in the current year’s Budget.

• The State Government have enhanced MLALAD Fund from Rs.50 lakh to Rs.75 lakhs. An amount of Rs.147 Crore has been provided in the Budget of the current financial year which includes arrear of Rs.36.75 Crore of previous year on account of increase in MLALAD fund and Rs.110.25 Crore for the current financial year.

• Rs.30 Crore has been provided in the Budget of the current financial year for Western Orissa Development Council (WODC).

• A sum of Rs.16.10 Crore has been provided in the Budget of Planning & Co-ordination Department for Orissa State Employment Mission.

• The State Government have launched a new Scheme called “Gopabandhu Gramin Yojana” (GGY) from the financial year 2006-07 with a view to providing additional development assistance to the targeted 11 Districts which are not covered under the Backward Region Grants Fund. The main objective of the Scheme is to provide infrastructure consisting primarily of Electricity, Road and Water Supply to such Revenue villages. For the financial year 2007-08, a sum of Rs.110.00 Crore has been proposed specifically in the Budget.

• While Rs.1 Crore was provided in the Budget for the financial year 2006-07 for TRIPTI Programme meant for poverty eradication, the same has been increased to Rs.45 Crore in the Budget for 2007-08.

• A sum of Rs.69.65 Crore has been proposed as state share in the Budget for 2007-08 towards Indira Awas Yojana as against Rs.51.00 Crore provided in the Budget of last financial year.

• While there was no provision in the original Budget of 2006-07 towards National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, Rs.100 Crore has been proposed as state share towards NREGS for the financial year 2007-08.

• Central Government have implemented Backward Region Grant Fund in 19 backward Districts of the State. Rs.324.28 Crore has been provided in the Budget for the financial year 2007-08 for the purpose.

• While Rs.13.03 Crore was provided in the State Plan Budget in 2006-07 under National Family Benefit Scheme for One Time Assistance of Rs.10,000 to bereaved BPL families on death of chief earning member of the family, in the current year’s Budget an equal amount has also been provided for the purpose.

• A sum of Rs.67,19,42,000 was provided in the original Budget for 2006-07 towards State’s share of Mid-Day-Meal. An equal amount has also been provided in the Budget estimate for 2007-08.

• The Emergency Feeding Programme is being implemented in the 8 KBK Districts. Under the Programme, 2 lakh old, infirm, and indigent persons belonging to BPL households are provided cooked food for one time in a day. Each beneficiary is provided with 250 gms. of rice per day. For this purpose, Rs.20.50 Crore is proposed in the Budget for 200708.

• While a sum of Rs.32.81 Crore was provided in the original Budget for 2006-07 towards share of State Government for Supplementary Nutrition Programme, it has been increased to Rs.96.07 Crore in 2007-08.

• Pre-Matric Scholarship of residential students belonging to S.T. and S.C. communities has been increased. While there was a provision of Rs.40.82 Crore in the original Budget of 2006-07 for the purpose, the same has been increased to Rs.84.77 Crore in the Budget for 2007-08. Similarly, Rs.3.34 Crore has been proposed in the Budget Estimate for 2007-08 towards Post-Matric Scholarship.

• In order to provide cycles to girl students belonging to Scheduled Tribe communities who have passed HSC Examination and pursuing higher education, it has been proposed to provide Rs.81.00 lakhs in the current year’s Budget.

• There is a provision of Rs.53.01 Crore in the Budget for 2007-08 for construction of Hostels for SC & ST students.

• There is a provision of Rs.127.14 Crore in the Budget for 2007-08 under Special Central Assistance for Tribal Areas Sub-Plan. The same is meant for development of the people of Tribal Areas.

• While there was provision of Rs.101.43 Crore towards Grant-in-Aid Salary in the original Budget for 2006-07, the same has been increased to Rs.125.56 Crore in
the Budget for the year 2007-08.

• It has been proposed to allocate Rs.128.35 Crore towards Grant-in-aid salary in respect of Higher Education Department out of which Rs.21.00 Crore is meant for Non-Government Colleges. Similarly, it has been proposed to allocate Rs.5.00 Crore for Infrastructure Development of Ravenshaw University.

• Rural Health Mission under Health and Family Welfare Department is being implemented in order to provide health care facilities in rural areas. It has been proposed to allocate Rs.60.92 Crores in the Budget for 2007-08 towards the State’s share.

• It has been proposed to complete 3 bridges and 8 roads covering 76.56 km at an outlay of Rs.54.73 Crore during 2007-08 under Central Road Fund.

• It has been proposed to allocate Rs.115.00 Crore during current financial year under RIDF for construction and improvement of Roads & Bridges under Works Department. An equal amount was alsoprovided in the original Budget for 2006-07.

• As against the original provision of Rs.31.00 Crore in the Budget for 2006-07, a sum of Rs.46.00 Crore has been estimated in the Budget of current financial year to improve 7 roads under One Time Additional Central Assistance.

• It has been proposed to allocate Rs.92.20 Crore in the Budget for the current financial year towards Orissa State Road Project under Externally Aided Project (EAP). It is to be mentioned that in the original Budget of the last year, a sum of Rs.51.00 Crore was provided for this propose.

• For connectivity of Roads & Bridges in KBK Districts under Special Central Assistance Scheme, a sum of Rs.8.00 Crore has been provided in the Budget for the current financial year.

• In Works Department while in the original Budget for the financial year 2006-07, Rs.377.16 Crore was provided under the State Plan Sector, this has been increased to Rs.430.41 Crore during the current financial year.

• A new scheme has been proposed to be implemented in the current financial year under State Plan in order to provide self-employment to the unemployed youth. For this purpose, Rs.3.02 Crore has been proposed in the Budget for the current year.

• For the first time, a sum of Rs.6.80 Crore has been proposed in the Budget for 2007-08 for Infrastructure Development of Constituent Colleges under Biju Pattnaik University of Technology (BPUT).

• While there was provision of Rs.87.30 lakh in the original Budget for 2006-07 for Self Employment of unemployed S.C youth, the same has been increased to Rs.2.00 Crore in the Budget for the current year.

• In order to implement a new scheme named “Intensive Mineral Exploration and Assessment of Steel & Mines Mineral Resources”, Rs.5.00 Crore has been provided in the Budget of the current financial year.

• While there was a provision of Rs.3.81 Crore for “E-governance” in the original Budget for 2006-07, it has been increased to Rs.18.76 Crore in the Budget for 2007-08.

• For the first time, funds amounting to Rs.5.00 lakh has been provided in the Budget of I.T. Department for “On Line File Movement & Tracking System”.

• It has been proposed to allocate Rs.4.20 Crore in the Budget of the current year for establishment of “International Institute of Information Technology”.

• There was provision of Rs.1,10,80,000 in the original Budget for 2006-07 of Science and Technology Department for “Integrated Rural Energy Programme”. An equal provision has also been made in the Budget for the current financial year.

• While there was provision of Rs.16.00 lakh for “Orissa Science Academy”, it has been proposed to increase the same to Rs.20.00 lakh in the Budget for the current financial year.

• While there was provision of Rs.13.98 lakh in the original Budget for 2006-07 for popularization of Science, it has been proposed to allocate Rs.30.00 lakh during the current financial year for the purpose.

• While there was provision of Rs.56.25 Crore in the original Budget for 2006-07 in respect of “Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission”, it has been proposed to allocate Rs.62.25 Crore in the Budget of the current financial year.

• It has been proposed to allocate Rs.25.40 Crore in the Budget for the year 2007-08 for Urban Water Supply.

• A sum of Rs.21.60 Crore and Rs.6.39 Crore have been provided in the Budget for the financial year 2007-08 as Grant-in-aid to Orissa Water Supply and Sewerage Board and Bhubaneswar Development Authority respectively in order to repay the loan obtained from HUDCO for Water Supply Project.

• As against the provision of Rs.80.00 Crore in the original Budget of last year, a sum of Rs.100.00 Crore has been provided in the Budget for the current financial year towards Rural Water Supply.

• During the current financial year, there is a provision of Rs.58.00 Crore under RIDF for construction and improvement of Roads and Bridges under Rural Development Department.

• There is total provision of Rs.185.10 Crore in respect of State Plan under R.D. Department during the current financial year.

• Rs.3.00 Crore has been provided in the State Plan Sector in the Budget for the year 2007-08 in respect of Tourism Department for preparation and display of high quality Cinema and for promotion of Tourism .

• While there was total provision of Rs.7.05 Crore in the original Budget of 2006-07, it has been augmented to Rs.10.16 Crore in the Budget of the current financial year.

Plan Outlay in other Sectors

• As against the original provision of Rs.290.00 Crore in the Budget for the year 2006-07 in respect of Rural Infrastructure Development Fund, it has been proposed to allocate Rs.310.00 Crore in the Budget for the year 2007-08.

• While Rs.516.00 Crore was provided in the original Budget for 2006-07 for Externally Aided Projects, the same has been increased to Rs.793.20 Crore in 2007

11. Highlights of Non-plan Revenue Expenditure. Rs.18,078.24 Crore has been provided towards Non-Plan Revenue Expenditure in the Budget for the financial year 2007-08. I now point out some important highlights of the Non-Plan revenue expenditure for information of Hon’ble Members of the House.

• State Government is giving adequate emphasis on development of Higher Education for which a sum of Rs.35.00 Crore has been provided in the Budget for the year 2007-08 as given below.

Utkal University : 3.50 Crores
Berhampur University : 3.50 Crores
Sambalpur University : 4.00 Crores
Shree Jagannath Sanskrit University : 2.00 Crores
Orissa University of Agriculture & : 2.50 Crores
Fakir Mohan University : 7.00 Crores
North Orissa University : 7.00 Crores
Ravenshaw University : 5.50 Crores

It has been proposed to allocate of Rs.17.00 Crore in the Budget for the current financial year towards arrear pay in respect of both Government and Government Aided Institutions under Higher Education Department out of which Rs.11.00 Crore and Rs.6.00 Crore are meant for Aided Educational Institutions and Government Colleges respectively. Similarly provision of funds amounting Rs.143.41 Crore has been made in this year’s Budget as Grant-in-Aid to different Institutions under Higher Education Department.

While Rs.167.42 Crore was provided in the original Budget for the year 2006-07 towards Sarba Sikhya Abhijan (SSA) under School and Mass Education Department, the same has been increased to Rs.170.33 Crore in the Budget for the financial year 2007-08.

· A sum of Rs.4.00 Crore has been provided in the Budget for the current financial year for renovation of Rabindra Mandap and Bhanja Kala Mandap.

• As per the recommendations of 2nd State Finance Commission a sum of Rs.19.85 Crore, Rs.5.00 Crore and Rs.11.74 Crore has been provided in the Budget for 2007-08 for repair and maintenance of Minor Irrigation Projects, repair and construction of G.P roads and for other
development work respectively.

• It has been proposed to allocate Rs.25.00 Crore for addition, alteration and maintenance of Hostel and Schools for the SC and ST Students.

• While Rs.9.78 Crore was provided in the original Budget for 2006-07 towards Diet Allowance of Prisoners of different Jails, the same has been increased to Rs.12,58,76,000 in the Budget for the financial year 2007-08.

• While Rs. 2.00 Crore and Rs. 1.77 Crore have been provided in the Budget for the current financial year for Infrastructure Development and purchase of Equipments respectively for Acharya Harihara Regional Cancer Centre, Rs. 2.10 Crore each for V.S.S. Medical College, Burla and M.K.C.G. Medical College, Berhampur, has been provided for increase of MBBS seats from 107 to 150.

• There is a provision of Rs.10.00 Crore in the Budget for Revenue & 2007-08 for distribution of Land Pass Book. Assistance is expected from National Calamity Contingency Fund. Accordingly, there is a provision of Rs.150.00 Crore in the Budget for the financial year 2007-08.

• There is a provision of Rs.60.30 Crore towards State Share and Rs.180.87 Crore towards Central Share (totalling to Rs.241.17 Crore ) in the Budget for 2007-08 on account of Relief Expenditure.

Non-Plan Expenditure in Other Sectors

• During first year of the 11th Plan period i.e financial year 2007-08, Rs.200.00 Crore has been transferred from Plan to Non-Plan Sector towards committed liabilities. It includes repair of Roads and Buildings, maintenance and repair of completed Irrigation Projects and maintenance of Irrigation Projects under Water Resources Department, provision of stipend and scholarship for the students of ST & SC Development Department, Block grant and Salaries of Universities under Higher Education and Agriculture Department.

· For maintenance of Government Buildings, Residential Buildings and Roads, provision of Rs.1138.51 Crore has been proposed in this year’s Budget which is higher by Rs. 322.34 Crore compared to the original Budget for the year 2006-07.

· Rs. 4049.11 Crore towards Interest Payment in respect of Loans obtained from Govt. of India and other Institutions.

· Rs.2125.36 Crore towards pension and other retirement and benefits.

12. While during the financial year 2006-07 expenditure in Capital account was estimated at Rs.1349.21 Crore, this has been increased to Rs.1913.77 Crore in the Budget estimate for the current financial year. Because of this, more funds will be available for infrastructure development.

13. Consequent upon introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) w.e.f. 1.04.2005, revenue collection has increased in Commercial Taxes organization. While an amount of Rs.2471.39 Crore was collected during 2004-05, this has increased to Rs.3011.73 Crore during 2005-06. As per preliminary information, this has further increased to Rs.3764.82 Crore in 2006-07. During the current financial year, State Government have changed the Value Added Tax Rate of 35 commodities which would be helpful in augmentation of State’s revenue as well as for the benefit of the small dealers and poor consumers. For example, while VAT has been increased on tobacco, the same has been reduced on tea. 9 items of goods have also been exempted from VAT.

14. Out of grants from DFID and 11th Finance Commission, 54 offices in Commercial Taxes organization (including 4 important check posts) have been computerized out of 111 offices.

15. Orissa Treasury Management System (OTMS) is being implemented since June, 2005 with DFID assistance. The principal objective of the Orissa Treasury Management System is to computerize all Treasuries, Special Treasuries and Sub-Treasuries in phases. For this, Computer System in all the Treasuries, Special Treasuries and Sub Treasuries are being linked with the main Computer System in the Directorate of Treasuries. Hence, no bill can be passed without allotment. Because of this, excess expenditure incurred beyond Budgetary provision, can now be prevented.

16. I may indicate here that steps are being taken to credit Pension related dues of retired Government employees in Bank Account through Computer during the current financial year. By this, pension payment and its accounting procedure will be simplified and difficulties of the pensioners will be removed.

17. Before I conclude, I want to inform the Hon’ble Members of this August House that it is incorrect to assume that problems of the State will be solved by making more provision in the Budget and expending the same in a routine manner. It is essential that we have to see whether the desired result is being derived from the money expended or not. I expect and believe that Departmentally related Standing Committees will examine this aspect while analyzing the Budget of the Departments.

18. Another important aspect is timely and proper utilization of Central Assistance. Substantial improvement has been noticed in submission of Utilization Certificate in respect of Central Assistance received due to regular monitoring and supervision by Government. For example, while Utilization Certificate amounting to Rs.2470.58 Crore was submitted during 2005-06, the same has increased to Rs.2852.25 Crore in 2006-07 which is Rs.381.67 Crore more in comparison to the previous year.

19. Hon’ble Speaker Sir, while presenting the Budget for the financial year 2007-08, I have highlighted the financial situation, the estimated receipts and expenditure of the State and the sincere efforts of the Government to mitigate the persistent problems of the State. I am grateful to you Sir, and extend my gratitude to the Hon’ble Leader of the House and Hon’ble Leader of Opposition and also my heartfelt thanks to the Hon’ble Members of the House for giving a patient listening to me so long. I solicit the help and cooperation of this August House. I humbly pray before Lord Sri Jagannath for happy and prosperous future of our State.

‘Jai Hind’
‘Bande Utkal Janani’
Shri Prafulla Chandra Ghadai,
Minister, Finance.

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