Odisha Government approves OTS for ORHDC, IPICOL; State Litigation Policy.

The State Cabinet decides on Tuesday decided to provide Rs 162 crore to the Rural Housing & Development Corporation (ORHDC) as a bailout package for repaying its debt from the HUDCO. It also decide to formulate a Litigation Policy to ensure conduct of litigation by and against the Government aiming at reducing the accumulation and delay in disposal of litigations. State Cabinet decides to reconstitute Fisheries dept, sanction block grant to 80 Madrasas.

The State Cabinet, which met here under the chairmanship Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, vetted the draft policy in principle prepared by the Law Department in view of the conditions imposed by the 13th Finance Commission in its award. This was the first Cabinet meeting after the expansion and reshuffle of the Ministry with six new Cabinet members. The policy, based on the National Litigation Policy, envisages State-specific provisions to help resolve litigations amicably.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Chief Secretary, Bijoy Patnaik said a State-level Empower Committee would be constituted under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary and at the district level under the chairmanship of district collectors to decide the cases to be gone for appeal in the higher courts and the cases to be settled amicably. He said the new policy would have a grievance redressal mechanism in every department and heads of department to resolve the cases of affected persons.

It also constituted a three-member Cabinet panel to examine the proposed special legislation to regulate issuance of caste certificates relating to SC, ST and Backward Class people.

The issue, which was a major item of the agendas at the Cabinet meeting, could not be addressed due to lack of consensus. As the draft on the special Bill amending the existing Act envisages withdrawal of authority from the MLAs and MPs to issue caste certificates and to vest it with the Sub-Collectors and Tehsildars, a majority of the Ministers objected to the provision. They said that there should be some sort of mechanisms under the existing dispensations to ascertain the castes before the issue of certificated by the elected representatives.

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