Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], Feb 28 (ANI): Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday urged the central government to revise royalty on coal and announce a special economic package for the Eastern Zone.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah chaired the meeting which was also attended by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, among others.
Speaking at 24th Eastern Zonal Council meeting here, Patnaik said, "One of the prime objectives of Zonal Councils is national integration and create healthy inter-state and centre-state relations. Integration has to be financial, infrastructural, technological, so it leads and strengthens emotional integration... It is in this regard I would like to present points both concerning the region and my state Odisha in particular."
He outlined that if a nationwide analysis is done for "teledensity, banking density, rail and road density, East Zone would be at the bottom in all these subjects that are in union list".
Patnaik also said there is a need to double the allotments made to the Eastern Zone region so that they can catch up to the national benchmarks.
"This zone contributes maximum to the mineral wealth of the country and in turn manufacturing and energy security of the country. The fruits of this wealth should boost the economic growth of this region and its people," the Odisha Chief Minister said.
"Royalty on coal has not been revised from 2012. There is an urgent need to revise royalty on coal and also to share the proceeds of clean energy cess with the state government," he added.
Patnaik further urged to "announce a special economic package for speeding up infrastructural development of the region".
"Our regions have some of the largest scheduled areas of the country. I reiterate my demand for inclusion of Ho, Bhumij and Mundari languages in the Eighth Schedule of Constitution," he stated. (ANI)