Gandhinagar, Thursday: Planning Commission has increased Gujarat's plan size for the current financial year 2011-2012 by 26.67 per cent to Rs.38,000-cr, which is higher than Rs.37,152.68-cr originally decided. This was arrived at after Chief Minister Narendra Modi's meeting with Vice-Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia today.

During the meeting, Dr Ahluwalia and Members of the Planning Commission praised Gujarat's development models, strategies for financial management, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and per capita growth rates, besides other achievements.

Appreciating the Planning Commission's gesture, Mr. Modi assured the plan panel that Gujarat would justify the hike in its annual plan size. He also exuded confidence that the state would achieve the 11.2 per cent growth rate during the current fiscal as mandated.

With this raise, the Chief Minister said the Gujarat Government would incorporate the projects like Rs.147-cr for scientific management of animal husbandry and improving the cattle breed, starting next generation day schools in tribal areas on the lines of ‘ashram shalas' bringing boys from nearby areas in mini buses, connecting remotest areas in Dangs and Dahod with roads and drinking water facility, augmenting drip irrigation and upgrading health and hygienic facilities in 159 municipalities.

He said that Gujarat has set high benchmarks for Twelfth Five Year Plan in Human Development Index (HDI), management of water resources, urban infrastructure, environment, solid wastes and waste water, besides desalination plants to be run on solar power. On the social fronts too, he said, Gujarat has included 2.25-lakh children from minority community for pre-Matriculation scholarships meant for tribal, Dalit and other backward classes. The minority populatio9n in Gujarat is 9.6 per cent but school enrolment 8.5 per cent, which excludes madarsas.

He urged the Centre to incorporate 90 per cent fund to Gujarat under accelerated irrigation projects (AIBP) for Sardar Sarovar Narmada Project as it included Government of India's Desert Development Project in Rajasthan.

However, the Chief Minister criticized the reversal of federal structure of governance by the UPA Government, snatching the state's autonomy and independence. The Centre is making laws, but leaving the onus of financing and implementing the projects on respective state governments.

For instance, he said, Gujarat is not getting corresponding funds for having implemented ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan' since 2003, having appointed 1.45-lakh teachers, having built 19,000 classrooms and spent a whopping amount of Rs.16,000-cr. Under the Rights to Education Act, Gujarat has appointed another 90,000 teachers, 80,000 classrooms, having incurred an additional burden of Rs.8,000-cr. Over 90 per cent of private schools in Gujarat running on PPP model get government grants, for which the Centre has allocated just one per cent fund under National Secondary School Abhiyan.

On the one hand non-major ports of the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) handle 73 per cent of maritime cargo and plan to increase the capacity to 1,000 MTPA, but on the other hand Centre framed a Port Regulatory Bill, put it on the website, without consulting Gujarat.

The Centre's is deliberately delaying announcement to lift ban on raw cotton export has caused the Gujarat farmers a loss of Rs.6,000-cr. In a similar step-motherly treatment towards Gujarat, Centre allocated 91,000 tonnes less of DAP fertilizers. Metros like Delhi and Mumbai get CNG at reduced rates from KG Basin, but expect Gujarat to get it imported. Centre imposed a 33 per cent cut in kerosene quota, showing false statistics about LPG connections.

Mr. Modi wished the Centre adapts some of the Gujarat models of success stories for the larger benefit of the nation, such as decentralization of administration up to taluka level (ATVT), the Rs.5,000-cr ‘Mission Mangalm' project for 2-lakh sakhi mandals (women's self-help groups), and setting new benchmarks in poverty alleviations, empowerment of people.

Others present from Gujarat side at the meeting included Ministers of State for Finance and Planning Saurabh Patel and Ranjit Gilitwala, Chief Secretary A.K. Joti and senior Secretaries.

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