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Political stability can give mineral-rich Odisha great future: Finance Commission

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New Delhi, Jan 8 (IANS) The 15th Finance Commission on Tuesday said Odisha with 72 per cent of India’s mineral resources and a politically-stable environment is nowhere near its true potential, but with certain initiatives can have a great future.

“With so much mineral wealth, Odisha is truly an example of a state which is nowhere near reaching its true growth potential… The Commission is of the view that the state of Odisha has a great future given political stability and other factor endowments,” it said.

The Finance Commission led by Chairman N.K. Singh is on a four-day visit to the state to hold detailed meetings with the state government led by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik during which the Commission will hold discussions on the state’s finances and other issues.

On Tuesday, the first day of the visit, the Commission members met the representatives of trade and industries of Odisha.

“The Commission felt that it was ironic that with 72 per cent of India’s mineral resources, manufacturing sector in Odisha was still very moderate. This has resulted in low job creation,” the Finance Commission said in a statement.

“Some recent initiatives of the state government have been good and effective, but deeper changes in the regulatory framework, combined with improved infrastructure and logistics are needed to make the state truly competitive,” it added.

Later, the Commission will hold meetings with the representatives of various political parties and those of the Panchayati Raj institutions and Urban Local Bodies of Odisha.

It will undertake field visits to take stock of the state’s poverty eradication program – Odisha Livelihood Mission. It will also visit the Self Help Groups, Drinking Water Projects, Cyclone Shelters and other development projects of the state.

Further, the Commission will also review the works undertaken by the Chilka Development Authority as well as Wet Land Research Centre.

–IANS
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Declaration of poll schedule to expedite candidate selection, alliances

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New Delhi, March 10 (IANS) With the Election Commission announcing the Lok Sabha poll schedule on Sunday, political parties are expected to expedite the process of candidate selection as also that of forming alliances in the next few days.

While the Congress has come with its first list of 15 candidates that includes names of party chief Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, the Bharatiya Janata Party is yet to come up with its first list, which is expected this week.

The opposition parties in Bihar have not yet announced their grand alliance in the state. There has also been no formal announcement of a tie-up in Jammu and Kashmir as also in West Bengal.

In Delhi, though the ruling Aam Aadmi Party has declared its candidates on most of the seats and Congress has declared its intentions to fight separately, there is still speculation of the possibility of the two parties coming together.

The notification for the first phase of Lok Sabha polls will be made on March 18 and the last date of filing nominations is March 25. The polling of the first phase for 91 seats across 20 states will be held on April 11, almost a month from now.

The political parties are expected to draw out a detailed schedule of campaigning by their top leaders over the next few days as also give final touches to their manifestos.

–IANS
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