Bhubaneswar, Jan 10 (LocalWire) The 15th Finance Commission, led by chairman NK Singh, said Odisha needs to focus on quality healthcare, especially in the rural sector.
The commission, which is on a three-day visit to Odisha from Jan 8 to 11, however, appreciated a number of steps taken by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik-led government for the progress of the state.
On the health sector, Singh said that Odisha was doing well in Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR), but the ratio of number of doctor to population was well below acceptable level.
He therefore, said there was need of more medical colleges and institutes to improve the quality of health care specially in rural Odisha.
In the sphere of education, the commission felt that Odisha required to put more emphasis in the sphere of Research and Development (R&D) and also in Human Resource Development (HRD).
Multipronged development is required in the primary, secondary and higher secondary education sector, said Singh.
The commission, while complimenting Odisha for reduction in poverty across the state, felt that it still had some distance to cover to level with the national standards.
Singh assured Patnaik of support in the issue of clean energy cess to be spent on coal mine areas as has been proposed by the Odisha government.
The commission also promised Patnaik to give its full consideration on the his proposals on disaster management and other matters.
The commission has appreciated the state government for the KALIA (Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation) scheme, for its handling of natural disaster and for women empowerment.
They hoped that identification of intended beneficiaries would meet the bench mark of transparency and credibility.