Unveiling a slew of steps to meet the basic infrastructure needs in a time-bound manner, Odisha Governor SC Jamir today said the state government would launch new programmes like "Chief Minister's Sadak Yojana" and "Chief Minister's Employment Generation Scheme." "The government shall fulfill in a time-bound manner the primary infrastructure needs in areas of road, communication, drinking water, electrification, irrigation, agriculture and education," Jamir said addressing the inaugural session of the 15th Odisha Assembly here.
He said these requirements would be met in both rural and urban areas so that lack of access to infrastructure would not become a barrier to growth and well-being of people. In order to provide road connectivity to villages, a new rural connectivity scheme namely "Chief Minister's Sadak Yojana" would be launched, Jamir said.
Similarly, the scope of "Biju Setu Yujana" would be expanded, while the state government would ensure access to power and piped water in rural areas, he said. To prepare the vast majority of youths coming into workforce annually, the government would introduce a "Chief Minister's Employment Generation Scheme" to upgrade skills of at least 150 youth from every Gram Panchayat, who would then be linked to loan and subsidy, the governor said.
An "Odisha Youth Innovation Fund" would be created to incubate new business ideas coming from young entrepreneurs, he said adding recruitment in government in all fields would be scaled up and recruitment of local talent facilitated in all industries and investments coming into the state.
Referring to agriculture, Jamir said even though a marginal reduction in the number of people dependent on farm sector and allied activities was witnessed in recent years, agriculture would continue to be the backbone of economy.
As input management held the key to sustained agriculture productivity improvement, the government envisioned to create an additional irrigation potential for ten lakh hectares in the next five years besides providing quality seeds, fertilisers, pesticides, insecticides and required technical extension services in every panchayat, he said. A comprehensive Warehousing Act would be legislated to create storage infrastructure in every panchayat, while subsidy based cold storage facilities would be established on PPP mode in all blocks, Jamir said.
A second Agriculture University would be established in backward KBK region to augment manpower needs for the agriculture sector and also benefit the farming communities of technological advances, he said. The fight for Special Category State status for Odisha would be intensified with emphasis on Odia "Swabhiman" (pride) till the demand was acceded to by the central government, he said adding an Odia University would be set up to facilitate all round development of the language.
On health sector, Jamir said the government would endeavour to provide medicines through Odisha Medical Corporation and ensure that health insurance coverage becomes universal covering every section of the society. Describing women empowerment as an instrument to safeguard familial cohesion and preserve social harmony, he said the government would formulate a "Holistic Women Policy" shortly to bridge the remaining gaps in holistic social and economic empowerment.
The government would also endeavour to bring down the interest against loans to women Self Help Groups (SHGs) within one year, he said. To enhance quality in education, the government would establish Model Public Schools in every block and the infrastructure gaps in panchayat high schools would be plugged, Jamir said adding interest subsidy would be provided to students on loans taken from banks to pursue technical and professional education.
More girls hostels would be set up in urban areas and free bi-cycles provided to all 10th class students.
While working for empowerment of backward communities, the government would establish tribal education complexes in urban areas to impart quality education to all tribal children, he said.
A single window access point under a single department would start functioning soon that would bring all minority welfare programmes and institutions under its ambit, while a Haj House would be crated in Bhubaneswar soon, Jamir said. The government would also take up a series of measures to protect the interests of slum dwellers by establishing "Slum Rehabilitation Board" and introducing "Urban Slum dwellers Rehabilitation Policy.
Social sector schemes like pension, assistance for education and marriage, health insurance and rice at Rs 1 a kg would be extended to all slum dwellers, he said.
A Welfare Board would be constituted for all types of unorganised workers and benefits in line with those available to construction workers would be extended after one year of their registration with the board, Jamir said.
Regarding industry, the government would focus on harvesting the gains from industrialisation by encouraging local value addition so that employment opportunities were generated for the youth.
Stating that development of Western Odisha and backward KBK region would remain a priority, the government would endeavour to include Koshali/Sambalpuri language in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution.
It would plan for special drought proofing measures and irrigation facilities for the traditionally drought probe areas of Western Odisha and KBK region, besides upgrading all major two lane roads in the region into four lane roads.
An Expressway would be constructed to connect Northern and Southern parts of Odisha that would run through the backward region of Western and KBK districts, the governor said.
Stating that government would make access to social security a "right" to make it universal, he said every person eligible for pension would be covered. Unmarried and destitute women above 30 years would be brought under its ambit. "Biju Bal Vikas Yojana", a new scheme would be launched soon to adequately rehabilitate all orphan and destitute children, while "Nirmaya", a health insurance scheme would be launched for autistic children and those requiring special attention with the state government bearing the entire premium.
The government would also increase the livelihood support for fishermen during fishing ban periods and all kutcha houses of fishermen would be converted into pucca ones within a fixed time period, he said.