Cabinet Approval for Open University at Sambalpur

The first Open University of the State will be set up at Sambalpur. This was decided at the meeting of the State Cabinet presided by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here on Saturday.

The Cabinet accorded post facto approval for change of headquarters of the Open University from Bhubaneswar to Sambalpur, Chief Secretary GC Pati told mediapersons after the meeting.

Several other important decisions including  handing over of e-auction of liquor shops to Metal Scrap Trading Corporation (MSTC), a Central public sector undertaking (PSU) was taken. e-auction system will be introduced for 2015-16 to bring transparency in the system of settlement of IMFL off shops and CS shops, Pati said.

The Chief Secretary said MSTC was preferred over National Informatics Centre (NIC) as the former has expertise in e-auction services. The MSTC’s e-auction platform is much superior to the existing platform of NIC, he said.

Modalities for introduction of the liquor shops will be started in 2014-15 for the financial year 2015-16.

A corpus fund of Rs 100 crore will be created for supply of seeds and planting materials to the farmers in time and increase the seed replacement rate of various agricultural crops. Interest free loan from the corpus fund will be shared by Odisha State Seeds Corporation Limited (OSSC), Odisha Agro Industries Corporation Limited (OAIC) and Odisha State Cashew Development Corporation Limited (OSCDC) on 60:30:10 basis for supply of seeds.

Another corpus of fund of Rs 100 crore to be shared by Markfed and OAIC on a 75:25 basis will be created for supply of fertilisers to the farmers in a timely manner, Pati said.

Pati said the Cabinet approved to award the Upper Indravati Canal Irrigation project to Larsen and Toubro Limited which was the L-1 bidder at a cost of Rs 758.8 crore.

The project will irrigate 26,248 hectares in Koksara, Jaypatna and Dharamgarh blocks of Kalahandi district.

Besides, the mega lift cluster-III project was also decided to be awarded to Larsen and Toubro Limited, which was the lowest bidder, at a cost of Rs 514.89 crore.

The project covers 19 mega lift points with a command area of 24,200 hectares in Bargarh, Sambalpur and Jharsuguda districts. Four bidders Larsen and Toubro Limited, GVPR Engineers Limited, HCC Limited and Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Limited participated in the tender process.

The Cabinet also decided to strengthen the command area development (CAD) wing of the Water Resources Department by increasing the technical staff from 299 to 411. A chief engineer will head the CAD in which the divisions will be increased from seven to 12.

The Chief Secretary said Cabinet approved the proposal to convert the interest liability of Rs 32.7 crore payable by OAIC to share capital to facilitate the restructuring of the corporation. OAIC will now have the credit worthiness to have access to adequate borrowings from banks and financial institutions at lower rate of interest.

The IPR-2007 will be amended to redefine downstream industries.

The Chief Secretary said that there should be 50 per cent use of waste/intermediate/final product as base material from the parent industry for a unit to be categorised under downstream industry.

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