Bhubaneswar: Orissa Chief Minister Mr. Naveen Patnaik on Saturday urged the Union Government to urgently approve an assistance of Rs 3265 Crores for carrying out repair and restoration works in the flood-hit areas of the State.

Participating at the 56th National Development Council (NDC) held in New Delhi under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Mr. Patnaik said, the State needed immediate release of Central assistance and a grant of Rs 1000 crores from the National Disaster Response Fund to meet the massive losses it suffered in the high spells of the twin floods last month.

The CM also drew the attention of the Council towards the ‘Supernormal Profits’ being enjoyed by the mining companies operating in Orissa. He informed that the profits of mining operators exceed even the approved annual plan size of Orissa. “Such an unwarranted state is the outcome of flawed Central policies which have perpetuated low royalty rates and artificially low prices determined by Indian Bureau of Mines. In the interests of mineral bearing States, we strongly advocate the need for imposing Mineral Resources Rent Tax on mining companies. They are to be charged at 50 per cent of the surplus rent. This would help mineral rich states like Orissa to raise much needed resources for development,” Mr. Patnaik said.

Mr. Patnaik also suggested that export of iron ore should be banned and technologies are to be developed to derive benefits of value addition. Expressing serious concern over the growing menace of Left Wing Extremism, Mr. Patnaik suggested that the 12th Plan should sharply focus on a multipronged strategy to address the situation. He demanded that the special initiative of Integrated Action Plan (IAP) should continue with increased funding and cover more naxal affected tribal and backward districts of the State.

The CM also brought to the notice of the Prime Minister that the proposed Indian Ports Bill, 2011 appeared to constrain the powers of the States to develop their own ports and maritime infrastructure.