Bhubaneswar: Odisha has distinctively positioned itself as a progressive state setting national and even global benchmarks, said the Odisha governor Ganeshi Lal.

“Odisha’s economy is on the path of steady growth. The state has been consistently growing at a higher rate than the national average. From subsistence to sustenance and from sustenance to surplus, our pace of transformation has been exceptional and our growth has been inclusive,” he added.

Delivering the customary governor’s speech on the opening day of the Budget session, the last session of the 15th State Assembly, here on Monday, the governor said Odisha’s transformational journey since 2000 has been remarkable. According to him the state government is untiringly striving to eradicate poverty, accelerate the pace of economic growth, reduce regional disparity and gender differences through various socio-economic measures and pro-people initiatives,” said the governor.

The state is now recognised for having set global benchmarks in disaster management, he added.

“Now, we are an agriculturally progressive state which has won Krishi Karman Award five times during the last seven years. In fact, Odisha is the only state in the country which has doubled farmers’ income in real terms in the last one decade,” he said.

Dwelling on foodgrain production, he said the state is now among the largest contributors to the Public Distribution System (PDS) and is playing a major role in the food security of the nation.”

Lal said Odisha has made a quantum jump by achieving the sharpest decline in infant mortality rate (IMR) and better than the national average decline in maternal mortality rate (MMR).

The state is leading in the country in rural housing, having built a record 20 lakh houses since 2014, the governor said.