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"Jairam Ramesh resorting to lies to paint a negative picture of Gujarat on Watershed Programme"

GUJARAT SPOKESPERSON MINISTERS NITIN PATEL & SAURABH PATEL WHILE CHALLENGING CENTRAL GOVERNMENT MINISTER JAIRAM RAMESH SAID:

"Yesterday Jairam Ramesh gave a statement on Gujarat’s unutilized funds on the Watershed Programme. It appears as one of the many attempts by UPA ministers to criticize and deride Gujarat on the basis of incorrect & half baked data. Jairam Ramesh uses chicanery to target Gujarat, just because it is governed by a political adversary, which is very unbecoming of a Union Minister!"

  • Jairam Ramesh’s claims are factually incorrect & misleading as his data reflects expenditure up to 30th June, 2013 only. He has conveniently not taken into consideration the expenditure from July 2013 to December 2013. These figures were presented before Secretary, Govt. of India in Regional Review Meeting held on 20th November, 2013 at Pune. Thus the figure of unspent balance mentioned in the said article of Rs.409 crores is exaggerated, misleading and factually incorrect.
  • Moreover, Govt. of Gujarat has proposed to Govt. of India for the release of Rs.288.06 crores on 19.10.2013 for the year 2013-14 additionally. Necessary compliance has been made as required by Govt. of India. Funds have not been released so far.
  • The funds released so far by Govt. of India is not specific to the financial year 2013-14 as project period of the programme is from 5 to 7 years. Also, as per the provision of Common Guidelines, States are eligible for release of funds after utilizations of 60% of funds available in the project. But this is not adhered by Govt. of India.

While Jairam Ramesh takes potshots based on political compulsions, it is important to remind him of Gujarat Government’s success in Watershed Management Programme, which has been appreciated & commended by The Central Government & Prime Minister himself.

  • The DPR Model developed by Govt. of Gujarat has been acknowledged by Government of India and circulated as well to all the states to follow the same vide Letter No. Z-11011/20/2010-PPC Dated:7th September 2010.
  • Because of exemplary and efficient operationalization of IWMP, Govt. of Gujarat has been conferred Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration for the year 2010-11 and National   E – Governance Award for innovative use of Technology in the year 2010-11.
  • Department of Administrative Reforms under PMO, Govt. of India and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has produced documentary about Watershed Programme in Gujarat State to create awareness to follow the programme and also published the article of model of Gujarat in the book "Thinking out of box" released by Prime Minister Office, Govt. of India.
  • To follow the model of Gujarat, 18 States viz; Andhra Pradesh, Tripura, Assam, Chhatisgarth, Nagaland, Himachal Pradesh,  Haryana,  Punjab, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, Manipur, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and  Uttar Pradesh visited different Watershed villages in different districts.

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Governors are an important pillar of Janbhagidari in this battle against Covid: PM
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Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today interacted with Governors of States regarding the Covid-19 situation and ongoing vaccination drive in the country, through video conferencing.

Prime Minister said that in the battle against Covid, along with the vaccines, our values and sense of duty are our biggest strengths. Praising the citizens who participated in this battle last year considering it their duty, he said that the same feeling of Janbhagidari needs to be encouraged now as well. He said that the role of the Governors, through appropriate utilization of their social capacity, thus becomes all the more critical to achieving this. Governors are an important link to ensure better coordination between State Governments and society, he said, adding that the combined power of all community organizations, political parties, NGOs and social institutions needs to be harnessed.

Prime Minister suggested that the Governors can actively engage to ensure that social institutions collaborate seamlessly with the State Governments towards micro containment. He said that their social network can help ensure an increase in the capacity of ambulances, ventilators and oxygen in hospitals. Along with spreading the message about vaccination and treatment, the Governors can also spread awareness about AYUSH related remedies.

Prime Minister noted that our youth, our workforce, is an important part of our economy. Hence, it is important to ensure that our youth follows all Covid related protocols and precautions. He said that the Governors’ role is also critical in ensuring the greater engagement of our students in University campuses towards this Janbhagidari. We also need to focus on better utilization of facilities at University and College campuses, he added. He said that just like last year, NCC and NSS also have a key role to play this year as well. Prime Minister said that the Governors are an important pillar of Janbhagidari in this battle and their coordination with State Governments and guidance to institutions of the State will further strengthen the nation’s resolve.

Discussing the rise in the number of Covid cases, the Prime Minister said that in this stage of the fight against the virus, the country stands to gain from last year’s experience and improved healthcare capacity. He discussed the increase RTPCR testing capacity and noted that the country has become Aatmanirbhar with respect to kits and other material related to testing. All this has led to a reduction in the cost of RTPCR tests also. He added that most of the products related to testing are also available on the GeM portal. Prime Minister emphasized the significance of increasing tracking, tracing and testing, and said that RTPCR testing needs to be increased from 60% to 70%. He said that it is pertinent to ensure that more and more people get tested.

Prime Minister underlined that the government is committed to ensuring adequate availability of vaccines. He highlighted that India has become the fastest nation to reach the landmark of 10 crore vaccinations. Noting the positive impact of Tika Utsav in the last four days, he said that in this period, the vaccination drive was expanded and new vaccination centres also came up.

Interaction

The Vice President of India, Union Home Minister and Union Health Minister also attended the interaction.

The Vice President appreciated the Prime Minister for leading the fight against Covid and his proactive steps to develop the infrastructure required to tackle the pandemic. He also highlighted the scientific community's contribution in giving a vaccine to India and the whole world. He also talked about the contribution of healthcare workers, sanitation workers, and other frontline workers who have played a vital role during the pandemic.

The Vice President called upon the Governors to bring up a coordinated front by leading all-party meetings in their respective states and engaging with civil society organisations to spread awareness about covid-appropriate behaviour. The Vice president said that a 'Team India spirit' cutting across policy lines should be adopted, and in this regard, Governors as the 'Guardians of the State' could guide the State Governments.

Union Home Minister stressed the importance of saving each and every life. Union Health Secretary gave a presentation on Covid cases and vaccination drive. He gave an overview of how India has followed a proactive and pre-emptive approach in this endeavour.

The Governors shared details of how their respective states are tackling the spread of the virus and coordinating activities towards ensuring a smooth implementation of the vaccination drive, while also mentioning the deficiencies of healthcare facilities in the States.

They gave suggestions for further improvement in the efforts and shared plans of how Janbhagidari can be increased through the active social engagement of various groups.