Bhubaneswar: The Central Government on Thursday has increased its annual assistance under Revised Long Term Action Plan (RLTAP) from Rs 130 crore to Rs 250 crore for Odisha to meet its expenses on the development projects in backward regions.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, at a meeting gave its nod to the proposals under the state component of Backward Regions Grant Funds (BRGF).

The committee also gave its nod to “continuing the special plan for the Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput (KBK) districts of Odisha in 2012-13 with an allocation of Rs.250 crore.” All the eight districts of the KBK region of Odisha will be covered under the fund.

Meanwhile, with an additional allocation of Rs 120 crore, the State Government has provided Rs 33 crore for strengthening electricity distribution system in the KBK region.

Similarly, additional Rs 21.81 crore and Rs 22.67 crore was allocated for the development of rural roads and the Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Scheduled Caste (SC) Department respectively.

An additional allocation of Rs 20 crore and Rs 13 crore was also made to the Works Department and the Water Resources Department respectively.

The State Government has also sanctioned an additional Rs 9.52 crore to the Housing and Urban Development Department for drinking water supply to the urban poor.

The BRGF, which aims to catalyse development in backward areas, was approved by the CCEA in August 2006.

In its present form, the BRGF has two components – a district component which covers 272 backward districts in 27 states (including 22 additional districts covered in 2012-13) and a state component, which includes special plan for Bihar, special plan for the KBK districts of Odisha, a special plan for West Bengal (covered in 2011-12), Integrated Action Plan (IAP) for select tribal and backward districts (covered in 2010-11) and a Bundelkhand package (covered in 2009-10).

The implementation of the programmes is being done by the state governments and is aimed at accelerating socio-economic development.

Source: 360 NS