Gandhihagar, Saturday: Gujarat Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi while speaking at the 58th meeting of the National Development Council held at Vigyan Bhawan under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, assailed the Central Government for not paying any attention to people's problems, especially inflation, power crisis and poor governance while finalizing the Approach 12th Five Year Plan. Quoting Prime Minister's speech about every organ of the government working in tandem, he said that in some States, Governors are deviating from set constitutional norms and Central Government is interfering in the administration of the States. He demanded that a meeting should be convened to discuss the adoption of Justice Sarkaria Commission and Punchchi Committee report on Centre – State relations to preserve federal structure of the country.
He said during the 11th plan, there have been enough instances of major schemes yielding sub-optimal outcomes because the schemes gave little or no flexibility to the States.
He pointed out that a number of recent actions by Central Government like Draft Ports Regulatory Bill, 2011, Draft Communal Violence Bill, Draft National Sports Development Bill, 2011 etc. are encroaching the powers of the States. He also mentioned that everyone has accepted that there is rampant corruption in MGNREGA and demanded a Joint Parliament Committee (JPC) should be set up to go into various aspects of MGNREGA and suggest measures.
While quoting Prime Minister's speech he said that recession is affecting the economic growth, however, Gujarat in spite of being an industrial State, has achieved 11% growth during the 11th Plan Period. On the contrary, country's growth has suffered which shows that it is not only recession but poor governance which is adversely affecting the economic growth of the country. He said that populous measures adopted by the Central Government which cost thousands of crores, adversely affect the economic growth and development.
In his address to National Development Council, Shri Narendra Modi also wondered how Planning Commission can be denigrated by another office i.e. National Advisory Council (NAC) set up by the Government. He also questioned whether NDC which represents the people of the country in the form of elected representatives from the Centre and States is going to take decision on developmental issues or will it be National Advisory Council. He called upon the Central Government to adopt best practices from States. He appealed to the Prime Minister that Centre should also cooperate with States rather only States expected to cooperate with the Centre.
While touching upon agriculture sector, he pointed out that allocation of funds for agri-infrastructure, agri-technology and value addition had been meager. In fact, Central Government is neglecting the sector and there is no increase in the outlays on agriculture.
He gave example of poor planning and management of supply of fertilizers, resulting in non-fulfillment of the need of the farmers. Last year at the time of sowing, very negligible quantity of urea and other fertilizers were available in the country. Unfortunately, Central Government did not do anything. Since UPA Government came into power, no addition has been made in the production of fertilizers in the country. He also mentioned that Government of India has to work in tandem with others to source raw material for fertilizers especially rock phosphate.
He lambasted the short-sightedness of the Central Government for imposing ban on cotton export which resulted into loss of more than five thousand crore to the farmers of Gujarat. Of course, after repeated requests by the State Government, the Centre lifted the ban but damage was done.
He also said that Central Government as well as Congress Party have been emphasizing upon eliminating discretionary powers with various Central Ministers and Government. However, it is a well known secret that year after year huge assistance is provided to select States as a ‘political favour' without any well set norms, criteria and transparency. This whole assistance to states in thousands of crores, is provided in a highly opaque manner. He demanded that Central Government should come out clean and publish a ‘white paper' on various packages and financial assistance provided to states during the last seven years of UPA rule. It is a well known fact that un-allocated power available with the Central agencies is given as political favour to some States without any transparency in allocation.
He also mentioned that this is the first time in recent years when people are not sure about getting electricity during Diwali because of mismanagement of production and transportation of coal, an important raw material for producing electricity. He also mentioned how Union Coal Minister is admitting corruption, inefficiency, indifference and non performance but is unable to do anything.
He expressed his deep concern about contradictions and conflicts within the Central Government. He expressed his concern over splurging of public fund for same job by duplicating to capture individual's data and biometric for UID and National Population Register.
He wondered how Hon'ble PM on one hand appeals to states for best practices, good schemes and on the other hand, if any state does good work, it is always penalized while allocating the funds. He specifically mentioned about Gujarat where under different schemes like PMGSY, hardly any funds are given because Gujarat started improving its roads prior to start of the Government of India's rural road scheme.
He appealed to the Prime Minister and Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission to have a relook at last 11 plans, approaches and outcomes, which will guide us in framing our next plan. He cautioned that the draft approach paper should not become another well drafted document.
Gujarat Ministers Shri Saurabhbhai Patel (MoS- Finance), Shri Ranjitbhai Gilitwala (MoS-Planning), Shri Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, Deputy Chairman, State Planning Commission, Shri A. K. Joti, Chief Secretary and senior officers from Gujarat attended the NDC meeting.