You are here: Home » Economy & Policy » News
Business Standard

BS Round Table: Odisha can dictate world commodity prices, says Pradhan

Pradhan refuted allegations of neglect by Centre towards Odisha and said the state would be a gateway of India to Southeast Asia

Nirmalya Behera  |  Bhubaneswar 

Dharmendra Pradhan at BS Round Table, Odisha
Dharmendra Pradhan at BS Round Table Odisha in Bhubaneswar

With aluminum majors Nalco, and group having operations in the state, Bhubaneswar can dictate the world aluminum prices, said Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship.

"If the production of Nalco, Vedanta, and group can be added together, it may impact the world aluminum market. Bhubaneswar can dictate what will be world prices", said Pradhan at the Business Standard Odisha Round Table, 2018 here.

is the right commodity to have its in Bhubaneswar, he added.

Besides, he envisioned that Odisha has the capability to influence the world power and as well.

ALSO READ: BS Odisha Round Table: Naveen firm on tribunal to resolve Mahanadi issue

Stressing that Odisha will be the gateway of India to Southeast Asia, he said that the state is bound to be number one state in the country due to its intellectual manpower, forestry, natural and human resources.

Odisha is a land of immense possibilities and in the world of 7 billion population, the state can be the epicentre of 700 million people residing in the south and and northeast states of India, he added.

Pradhan refuted allegations of neglect by the towards Odisha as raised by the ruling party BJD in the state.

"Odisha might have been neglected under earlier regimes at the Centre, but the guiding principle of the Narendra is Sabka Saath Sabka Vikash", he said.

ALSO READ: Odisha sheds 'MoU model' tag, rides on reforms to tap emerging sectors

Taking a dig at the Odisha government's claim of Centre's neglect, Pradhan said, the has allocated Rs 51 billion in last railway budget, which is highest ever allocation to the state compared to some Rs 7 odd billion budgetary allocations to the state made in 2013-14.

He pointed out that has successfully added new National Highway projects of more than 4,800 kms in Odisha.

Listing out other initiatives of the Centre to benefit the state, he said, there is a proposal to set up the second international airport in Odisha. The state will also be a major beneficiary under the 14th finance commission and GST (goods and services tax) as a consuming state.

Commenting on skill development initiatives, he agreed there was a need to create a new model for education and skilling. "Our education system is creating a certificate mechanism.

It is not facilitating employability. We need to focus on how we can create a world-class skill ecosystem."

Pradhan rued that India's skill-manpower ratio is only seven per cent and the situation in the country is more or underemployment.

"Out of 1300 million population, 500 million make up the workforce. The primary challenge is to upgrade them so that they can go for a dignified lifestyle, a dignified payroll. We expect the workforce count to go up to 600 million", he said.

First Published: Mon, January 08 2018. 01:45 IST