New Delhi: Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today called on Finance Minister P. Chidambaram in North Block New Delhi and asked him to provide uniform funding pattern of 90:10 to the State under all centrally sponsored schemes like Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan, Mid Day Meal Scheme, RMSA, Indira Awas Yojna (IAY) etc. on the pattern of North Eastern States. He informed that at present different pattern of funding was being provided to the State under various centrally sponsored schemes which was quite less in comparison to North Eastern States and requested to pass necessary direction to all Central Ministries /Departments to modify the guidelines for existing schemes and adopt uniform norms for all the special category states including Himachal Pradesh.

Chief Minister suggested P. Chidambaram to restore the special industrial package to the state till 2020 so as to expedite the industrialization process in the state to promote economic activities and employment avenues in the State. He said that State Government had made large scale investment to improve the basic infrastructure in industrial belts of the State to attract private sector investment. He said that proposal for continuation of special industrial package was under consideration of department of Industrial Policy and Promotion adding further that planning commission has already earmarked budgetary outlay of Rs 500 crore for extension of industrial package to special category States during 12th Five Year Plan.

Virbhadra Singh demanded release of Rs 2100 crore SPA/SCA for financing the annual plan 2013-14 to speed up the pace of development in the State. He told that state had suffered loss of Rs 10725 crore due to adverse recommendation of 13th Finance Commission who underestimated the states committed liabilities on various accounts like salary, pension, etc. He said that State got an increase of only 50% as against the average increase of 126% for all other states .He requested the release of full amount by providing additional funds through savings and supplementary budget provision.

P. Chidambaram appreciated the issue raised by State Government and assured that Finance Ministry will provide all possible financial assistance to the State under various schemes to accelerate the pace of development and ensure over all development of all regions of the State.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.