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.