Congress demands white paper on central funds

Shimla: Congress has demanded a white paper on central funding towards the schemes being implemented in the state so as to dispel the BJP governments’ misinformation campaign about discrimination against the hill state.

Talking to reporters’ congress spokesman Kuldeep Rathore said that chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and other BJP leaders were diverting attention by harping upon discrimination being meted out to Himachal in central allocation of funds.

“The factual position is just the opposite. There are about 125 centrally sponsored schemes which include, Bharat Nirman, MNREGA and National Rural Health Miission running in Himachal. Under MNREGA (Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) alone the state has received Rs 900 Crs,” claimed Rathore.

“Congress asks for bringing out a white paper on central government funds for the state and it will dispel the false propaganda being served up,” he said.

Drawing attention to the recent budget announcements of pay arrears of Rs 550 Cr for employees, the congress spokesman said that it was proving to be a mirage for them as much of the arrears announced for class III employees, who constitute the bulk, already stood paid and hardly any dues had been released.

Taking the government to task about bad condition of roads, he said that the heavy losses incurred in harvesting last years apple crop was mainly due to bad roads.

While not opposing the setting up of an educational institute at Pragatinagar in Kotkhai, Rathore said that the land of the carton factory should not be used for the purpose as farmers had donated fertile land for the apple industry.

After having sold the machinery as scrap, the government should either set up another carton manufacturing unit at the site or use the land for setting up a fruit processing unit and for the educational institute suitable government land needs to be identified, he said.

Mentioning the environmental degradation caused by a private university along the national highway at Vaknaghat, he said, “the violations were so blatant, which suggest that no laws prevail here anymore.”

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