Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon’ble Minister of State (I/c) Petroleum & Natural Gas, expressed confidence that such deliberations between the Centre and the State will facilitate resolution of all outstanding issues concerning the welfare and development of the State.
He hoped that keeping in view the spirit of celebrations of Nabakalebar, which connotes renewal as its central message, the state govt will eschew the path of confrontation and competitiveness and will work as partners with the central govt for achieving the objectives of overall development of state and its people.
He gave a detailed account of the financial package which the central govt of India has extended to the state, which is around Rs 140 cr. This includes financial outlay earmarked for Nabakalebar celebrations, revival of Raghurajpur Crafts Village, upgradation of tourist facilities at Konark being carried out under the aegis of National Cultural Fund (NCF) and Indian Oil Foundation(IOF) and Light and sound shows proposed at Konark, Puri, Dhauligiri and Khandagiri. In this regard, he also highlighted the necessity of timely submission of UCs for enabling the central govt to release funds to the state govt.
Apart from developing the Buddhist circuit, the Hon’ble Minister stressed on the necessity of developing cruise tourism in the state, for which the Ministries of Shipping and Tourism will be major stakeholders. He hoped to impart skills in the traditional methods of handicrafts, stone/wood carvings and temple procedures can be done through the established University of Culture & Sanskrit University. Such innovative approaches will help the state in creating substantial employment opportunities for the youths.
He supported the demand for creating better air connectivity in the state. Such airports can also be developed through partnership with the PSUs operating in the state. Such PSU centric augmentation of facilities in the aviation sector will facilitate both industry as well as tourism.
He expressed the view that the working of ASI requires to be fine tuned and also, the state government should also undertake a review of extant procurement practices for ensuring smooth implementation of the projects.
He hoped that the state govt will continue the spirit of partnership and the central govt will extend all possible help in creating an environment of development in the tourism sector.