Orissa's 20.65 per cent economic growth rate is 20.65 pc: Minister

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Bhubaneswar, May 27 (UNI) Orissa Finance Minister Prafulla Chandra Ghadhei today said the economic growth of the state was 20.65 per cent if the revenue of the state GSDP in the industry sector from 2002-to 2007 would be taken into consideration.

Mr Ghadei described leader of Opposition J B Patnaik's comment on the economic growth of the state as ''baseless, imaginary and politically motivated''.

Mr Patnaik in a press conference here dubbed the World Bank report circulated in a seminar a few days back as exaggerated and stage managed by the state government keeping in view the coming elections.

The WB, in its report, said the state had achieved a robust economic growth of ten per cent during the rule of the present BJD-BJP alliance government.

Mr Ghadhei said the state achieved GSDP growth of 14.71, 11.61 and 6.35 per cent during 2003-04,2004-05 and 2005-06 respectively which comes to an average of 11.22 per cent per annum.

He said the state government had accorded priority to the agriculture sector in the 11th plan period and targeted to achieve an average growth of four per cent in the sector.

The Finance Minister said the allegation that farmers in the state were committing suicide falling heavily under debts was not based on facts.

He also dismissed claims that the government had achieved an appreciable economic growth as it did not recruit thousands of posts lying vacant in different departments.

Mr Ghadei said the government had already given clearance for the filling up of around 1,21,730 posts and had taken steps to fill up the posts lying vacant in various departments in phases.

He said the economy of the state had improved a lot during the present government and the state was not depending upon the over draft and ways and means advance to pay salary to its employees any more.

The total revenue of the state had increased from Rs 2420.57 crore in 1999-2000 to Rs 9390.67 rore in 2007-08.Similary the capital outlay had increased from 799 crore in 1999-2000 to Rs 2807.47 crore in 2007-08.

He said that while the earlier government was not able to pay its share for the execution of various central schemes, the present government had earmarked Rs 502 crore to launch its own schemes like MO Kudia, Madhu Babu Pension scheme, Biju Gram Jyoti Yojana, Biju KBK Yojana and Gopabandhu Grameen Yojana for the welfare of people after paying its central share.

The Finance Minister also dismissed the allegation made by the senior Congress leader that no industrial units had yet started production.

He said out of the 49 companies, which had signed MoUs to invest Rs 1,98,150 crore, 26 companies had already started production after investing Rs16,560 crore.

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