Odisha Economic Survey Throws Light on Key Development Goals

The 2020-21 Odisha Economic Survey, released recently, has doubled down on the state’s development agenda and brings into focus key sectors where it can bring significant impact. Some areas that the survey specifically examines include healthcare, quality education and skill development, development of agriculture, clean water, employment, industrialisation and infrastructure development.

The survey talks of boosting healthcare investment by the state government at all levels (primary, secondary and tertiary), by allocating sufficient financial outlay for both the public health units as well as the privately managed hospitals. Supplementary measures like facilitation of a large pool of health professionals and paramedics, skill up-gradation of health professionals and end-to-end delivery of health services at the grass-roots level have also been suggested.

It also recommends diversification of crops and promotion of integrated farming with an emphasis on small animal farming and poultry for driving forward Odisha’s agricultural sector. The agricultural sector contributes nearly twenty percent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP). “To support the growth of the economy and well-being of people, the survey underlined the need for reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure in both rural and urban areas. To ensure rapid industrialization, the focus should be on the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises and the farm sector as well,” read the report.

Taking note of the growing ‘knowledge inequality’ and the consequences of the knowledge gap, the survey underlines that skill upgradation is a key constituent of growth. It goes on to suggest the government provide universal quality education and sustainable employment generation. As part of the future-development vision, the survey advocates a greater adoption of solar power, electrification of all villages, and calls for a renewed thrust to develop the Koraput-Bolangir-Kalahandi (KBK) belt. It also takes into consideration the effect of natural calamities and asks the government to invest in disaster mitigation schemes and technology.

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