Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal has expressed his concern over the biased attitude of the UPA Government at the Centre against Non-UPA ruled states which was contrary to the federal system of governance in a democratic system of government. He was talking to media persons in an informal meeting here today.
Chief Minister said that a large number of issues pertaining to state interests were pending in different ministries and despite repeated pursuance nothing positive was coming forward. He said that the State was indebted towards the Ho’ble Supreme Court of India for passing a landmark judgment in favour of the State in the matter of Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) arrears pertaining to the period from 1966 to 1996, which would be providing some relief to the State and where the people of the State had made heavy sacrifices to pave the way for construction of hydro power projects and getting nothing in return for the same. He said that the State had urged the Centre to provide Special Package to the State to compensate the implementation of 6th Pay Commission which had been a common demand of many other States of the country as well. He said that Centre had constituted a committee of high officials of the Government of India which was to make its recommendations by December 31, 2010, but till date nothing could be heard from the Centre.
Chief Minister said that the State had also raised the demand to allow it borrowing based upon the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP), on the norms adopted by the Centre itself, but Centre reduced the borrowing limit from Rs. 2,200 crore to Rs. 1,600 crore for the State. He said that size of the Annual Plan was determined in consultation with the Government of India which required pooling of resources where Centre was required to lend its supportive hand, but nothing had been done in this regard as well. He said that additionally the Centre had provided negligible hike in the 13th Finance Commission compared to average of 125 percent hike to other states, Himachal was provided only 50 percent hike, which deserved to be compensated by offering State a Special Financial Package. Similarly, he said that the Centre had discriminated with Himachal and Uttrakhand, Non-UPA rules States, in extending the Package upto the announced date of March, 2013. He said that there was a long list of pending issues pending with the Centre which included enhancement in the recruitment quota of Himachal youth in armed and para military forces; One Rank One Pension to the ex-servicemen, relocation of Dogra Regimental Centre to Una in Himachal; due share in expansion of railway network in the State; adequate funds for repair and maintenance of the National Highways and notification of the five National Highways granted approval by former Union Minister for National Highways and Surface Transport Minister, Shri Kamal Nath etc..
Chief Minister said that all above issues had been raised by him in person with the Prime Minister of India, Union Home and Finance Ministers, and Ministers of the respective Ministeries time and again but nothing positive had come out of the exercise carried for. He urged the Centre to grant Special Economic Package to Himachal Pradesh as a measure of compensation to meet the deficit caused due to the biasness at the hands of different ministries of the Government of India.