Bolangir: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday attacked the Biju Janata Dal-led state government for sitting on the District Mineral Funds (DMF) and not releasing it timely.
Speaking at a public rally here, the PM said the Centre had amended laws to ensure that locals living in mineral-rich areas get benefits from the mineral exploration and transportation business. Modi said `4,000 crore has been released under the DMF for the state but Odisha government is sitting on it due to lack of drive and directive.
Modi said, “We are giving the funds under the DMF for people residing in mineral-rich areas. Under DMF, Odisha has got around Rs 4,000 crore for the local people of the mineral rich areas. But the state government has spent a meagre amount. They are sitting on it. I want to tell them not to wait for the elections to release DMF funds.”
The PM also accused the state government of not taking care of the archaeological monuments and heritage sites. “Odisha is home to many heritage sites. Several of those have been left to decay and disintegrate. We have tried to chip in and tried to maintain those in a proper manner,” pointed out the PM.
The PM also reiterated that the NDA government has increased manifold the fund allocation for railway projects in Odisha compared to what the UPA had done.
Taking a dig at the UPA government, he said, “In the past 4.5 years we have allocated more than `20,000 crore for railway projects in Odisha. This is five times more than what the previous government had allocated to the state,” he said.
Modi who was accompanied by Union ministers Jual Oram and Dharmendra Pradhan said that with the new railway projects inaugurated Tuesday, people of western Odisha would get an impetus for job creation. It would also reduce travel time and will help them in connecting farm produce to bigger mandis. The top BJP leader also said his government is committed to increasing the number of Eklavya Vidyalaya and Kendriya Vidyalayas in Odisha.
The Prime Minister said central financial assistance to groom sports talents from remote areas and smaller areas would benefit hidden talents of Odisha which has often given national and international players to the country.