SHRI A.V.SWAMY (ODISHA) : CHAIRMAN SIR, I am thankful to you for allowing me to participate in this vital debate.
SIR, The General Budget introduced by our forward looking Finance Minister Sri P. Chidambaram is spiced with many provisions that cheer the deprived sections and neglected regions of the country.
SIR, I convey through you my appreciation and thanks for giving due importance to problems long ignored for the poor and depressed population besides under developed regions of the country.
SIR, The most welcome assurance by the Finance Minister to revisit the criteria for identification of states for special category. This raises high hopes for the state of Odisha which has been persuading the centre for this status since 2001 by our untiring Chief Minister, Sri Naveen Patnaik for twelve years!
CHAIRMAN SIR,Incidentally, this 12 year period matches with 12 years of Pandavas’ (of Epic Mahabharata) Vanavas returning to Hastinapur to give their subjects their legitimate right to live happily.
SIR, The Finance Minister has stated that it may be more relevant to use a measure like distance from the state from the national average, per capita income, literacy and other human development indicators for determining Special Category Status.
CHAIRMAN SIR, 11 states of the country have been declared as special category states as per the earlier criteria.