Saturday, October 28, 2006






New Delhi

October 12, 2006

Chief Minister, Orissa, Shri Naveen Patnaik met the Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Shri Kapil Sibal at New Delhi today. The Chief Minister requested the Union Minister to sanction new Post Graduate courses in Marine Biotechnology and General Biotechnology for Berhampur University and Fakir Mohan University, Balasore, respectively. Berhampur University has one of the oldest Marine Biology Departments in the country and in view of the economic potential of this sector and the requirement of trained manpower in the upcoming field of Biotechnology, Orissa would be greatly benefited by the opening up these new courses. The Union Minister readily agreed to sanction these courses after receiving the proposals. Shri Patnaik also requested for early sanction of the proposed Biotechnology Incubator project at Bhubaneswar. The Incubator, which will be part of the Biotechnology Park, will nurture innovative ideas into successful business ventures. It will enable the Park to get essential facilities like laboratories, equipment, etc. for which the State Government has already provided 100 acres of prime land in Bhubaneswar. Shri Sibal agreed that the Biotechnology sector in Orissa needs a boost and said that the Department of Biotechnology would readily support the proposal. Shri Sibal also announced that the Ministry of Earth Sciences will be setting up one Doppler radar station at Paradeep for weather monitoring. Sites have also been identified at 3 other locations, namely, Balasore, Gopalpur and Sambalpur for setting up Doppler radar stations.

Shri Patnaik met the Union Minister for Agriculture, Food & Civil Supplies, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Shri Sharad Pawar today. At the outset, Shri Pawar congratulated the Chief Minister for the excellent performance of Orissa in terms of foodgrain production and procurement during the last financial year. As a result of this, there was no distress sale and no demand for rice from outside the State. He hoped that the performance this year would be as good, if not better. The Chief Minister then stated that since agro based sugar projects have a substantial economic spread effect in the rural sector, the Government of Orissa is now giving a thrust on the implementation of new sugar mills in potential areas. 14 new areas have been identified and a Master Plan is being prepared. He requested the Union Minister to use his good offices to help Orissa in getting new entrepreneurs for setting up new sugar mills because of their immense impact on the rural economy and extensive livelihood support. Shri Pawar mentioned that the Eastern Zone continues to be sugar deficit and Orissa is ideally placed to meet this deficit. He requested the Chief Minister to give further details about the potential areas for sugarcane so that steps could be taken for establishing new sugar mills in the State.

Reiterating his earlier request for making available suitable central assistance for providing short term crop loans to farmers at 7% interest, Shri Patnaik stated that the State Government has already come forward to provide financial assistance from its own limited resources to enable the cooperative sector to lend at 7%. He mentioned that this would cost about Rs.33 crore to the State exchequer. However, this can only be a one time measure. It would be difficult to sustain the same in the long run and urged the Government of India to provide suitable assistance to the State Government to meet the additional requirement of funds for making available loans to farmers at 7% interest. Shri Pawar appreciated the difficulties being faced by the State Government in fulfilling this budget announcement and agreed to take up the matter for a suitable resolution of this problem. Shri Patnaik also made a request for relaxing the norms for paddy quality for the procurement season 2006-07 in view of the severe and extensive floods this year that have affected the crop. Shri Pawar stated that his Ministry would take action at the appropriate time in this regard, i.e. at the time of harvest of the paddy.


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