After rejecting Sonia Gandhi’s claim in her public rally in Himachal Pradesh, in which she has claimed unspent money issue, now Himachal Pradesh Prem Kumar Dhumal has responded to Union Health Minister Gulam Nabi Azad’s remark and claimed that Himachal Pradesh has achieved 95 percent targets under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) implementation since the inception of the programme.

In a letter written to Union Health Minister, Chief Minister said that the State had optimally utilised the budgetary provisions made for the State under NRHM which was evident from the fact that the infant mortality rate (IMR) had dropped in the State to 11 percent, institutional deliveries increased from 50 to 70 percent and total fertility rate reduced to 1.7 in the State. He said that similarly there were other achievements under the Mission programme where the State had made remarkable achievement. He clarified to the Union Health Minister that the achievement of Himachal Pradesh during BJP regime had been 102 percent compared to 48 percent during Congress regime. He said that out of the budgetary allocations received under NRHM during Congress regime of Rs. 8469.07 lakhs for the period from 2005-06 to 2007-08, expenditure had been only Rs. 4168.21 lakh, which amounts to only 48 percent of the allocations during those three years of Congress rule in the State. He said that during BJP regime beginning from year 2008-09 to 2011-12, total allocation under the Mission amounts to Rs. 48423.37 lakh out of which expenditure of Rs. 49511.09 lakhs had been incurred, which also included the balance unspent budget pertaining to Congress regime and the achievement had been 102.20 percent, more than double to the achievement made during previous Congress regime.

He said that the State now had best health indicators and ranked amongst the front running states of the country in implementation of different health programmes and creating quality health infrastructure to cater to the health requirements of the people of the State. He said that the State had been ranking at number one in Health Sector during preceding years and NRHM had supplemented the efforts of the State Government towards strengthening the health network in the State. He urged Union Health Minister to continue his support towards the State so that better and efficient health services were made available to the people, especially those residing in the remote and difficult areas and who deserved such health care services more than the others.

Earlier, during assembly poll campaign, Union Health Minister Gulam Nabi Azad has criticised State Govt for the taking claims for the center sponsored schemes. He also accused state Govt for low expenditure under the Mission Programme. In his letter Chief Minister blamed union Health Minister for misleading people of Himachal Pradesh. Prior to it, Dhumal has asked Sonia Gandhi to prove her allegations of non-utilisation of Central funds against his Govt during the Assembly election campaign.

He has also sought clarification from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He stated that the allegations levelled by Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and other Congress leaders during election rallies that about Rs 10,000 crore, which was given to Himachal Pradesh under Centrally sponsored schemes, remained unspent, was far from forgotten.

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