Bhubaneswar, Dec 26 (UNI) Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said his government was committed to development of agriculture as it was the backbone of economic development of the state.
Addressing a massive rally here, organised to commemorate the 10th Foundation Day of the Biju Janata Dal(BJD), Mr Patnaik said the government was making all efforts to popularise the cash crop and making arrangements to provide fertilisers and high quality seeds to raise the production of crops.
The chief minister said agriculture was the backbone of the state's economy and his government was committed to its development and announced a package of Rs.2000 crore for the farmers.
Mr Patnaik said a master plan to bring 35 per cent of all agriculture land under irrigation in each block had already been implemented and constituted Pani Panchyats for the operation and maintenance of irrigation system.
The government, he said, would spend Rs 250 crore to repair the canals to ensure that water would be available at the tail end of the canal.If needed more funds would be provided for the purpose, he added.
The chief minister reiterated not to divert a single drop of water meant for agriculture from any dam in the state to industry or any other sectors.
He said the economy of the state was in a very bad shape when his government took charge of the state but a better management of the economy by his government changed the scenario as an investment of Rs.4 lakh core had been made in the steel and aluminium sectors.
Describing the newly formulated Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy as one of the best in the country, the chief minister said due importance would be given to the people displaced by the project and peripheral development.
Mr Patnaik said he had been demanding the union government to set up national institutes like IIM and IIT in Orissa and accord special category status to the state.
The chief minister said the aim of his party is to make Orissa one of the self reliant and developed states of the country and appealed to people to work jointly for achieving the goal.