Opposition parties slam Naveen Patnaik govt over Odisha’s poor ranking in NITI Aayog report
Two days after Odisha slipped four places in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) rankings released by the NITI Aayog for 2020-21 and was listed among the bottom 5 states, opposition BJP and Congress slammed the Naveen Patnaik government over its dip in the rankings.
On Thursday, Odisha slipped from the 15th rank last year to 19th rank in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) rankings released by the NITI Aayog for 2020-21. Though its composite score improved from 58 to 61, it remained among the bottom five states along with Nagaland and Chhattisgarh. Performances of the states were assessed from 16 SDGs - zero poverty, no hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality and peace, justice and strong institutions.
“The state of Odisha figures in the list of bottom five states of the SDG report of NITI Aayog. It is shameful and very unfortunate for us,” said Bhubaneswar MP and BJP leader Aparajita Sarangi. “I wonder that the state of Andhra Pradesh has 9.2 per cent people who are living under national below poverty line. Many families in Bhubaneswar parliamentary constituency are yet to get pucca houses under government scheme. At least 14.2% or 1 crore people are still living in kutcha houses in Odisha while in West Bengal the figure is only 6% and in Andhra Pradesh, it is 3.2%. “The central government has sanctioned lakhs of pucca houses to Odisha. Where are these?” she asked.
The BJP leader said Odisha ranked sixth from the bottom in the list of 28 states in the category of Zero Hunger of the sustainable development goal. At least 29 per cent of children below 5 years are malnourished in the state, which was mentioned in the report, she said. Besides, 47.6 pc of pregnant women and 29.5 pc adolescents are anaemic.
“The state’s rank in the Gender Equality is 11 from bottom. Criminal cases against 103.5 % women in the state have come to fore. As per the report, 103 women in 1 lakh are exploited in the state. The harassment cases against women continue to surge since 2015. The BJD government has failed to ensure safety and security of women,” she alleged.
In the category of Economic Growth, Odisha ranked second from the bottom among 28 states. The state secured zero in ease of doing business despite undertaking various programmes like ‘make In Odisha’.
Sarangi said in the ‘No Poverty’ category, Odisha’s population below poverty line (32.59 pc), households covered by health insurance (47.7 pc) and those living in kutcha houses (14.2 pc) showed no improvement. “Odisha is among the worst performers in the goal of providing decent work and economic growth. It also was adjudged a laggard in Decent Work and Economic Growth with only 11.92 bank branches and 15.72 ATMs per one lakh population.
“Even employment provided against demand under MGNREGA saw a marginal drop,” she said.
State Congress president Niranjan Patnaik said BJD may not face any immediate repercussions of their misgovernance, but the fact is the people of Odisha will continue to suffer. “Congratulations to the BJD govt. Odisha has now slumped to 21st position from 16th, in NITI Aayog’s SDG India Index,” he tweeted.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.
However, BJD leader and Rajya Sabha MP Amar Patnaik alleged that there could be some discrepancies during preparation of the SDG ranking. “SDG report is not a political report. It should not be used to play dirty politics, but use it for fostering more development. It is unfortunate that the BJP is doing politics even not going through the report thoroughly. The data provided by the state has not been taken into account in the SDG report,” said the BJD MP.