Low GDP growth rate is wake up call for GoI facing policy paralysis: Gujarat CM Narendra Modi 

Indecision, adrift in Centre casting dark shadow on States

New Delhi: The Annual Plan for Gujarat for 2012-13 was finalized on Friday at Rs. 51,000 crore at a meeting held here between Gujarat Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Shri Montek Singh Ahluwalia. The current plan size is 34.21 % higher than the previous year’s plan size of Rs.38,000 crore.

In the meeting, Gujarat CM expressed his concern that we are starting 12th FYP with news that the growth rate last year was on 5.3%, in a scenario of low investor confidence, falling rupee, falling inflow of FDI and policy paralysis in the Central Government. He observed that there is no urgency or seriousness in tackling the economic crisis facing the country. While answering questions from media, Shri Modi showed his surprise that there was no anticipation from the Prime Minister and the Central Government that the growth figures would be this bad. As late as March, the PM was confident of achieving 7% growth.

He further mentioned that global factors alone could not be held responsible for economic crisis. There is a policy paralysis and vital decisions concerning a wide range of issues have not been taken. The Central Government is in coma.

Shri Modi expressed serious concern regarding low GDP growth, falling rupee and inability to control inflation and hoped that this 5.3% growth figures would serve as a wakeup call for the GoI.

During Gujarat’s annual plan discussion, Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi expressed confidence that Gujarat is committed to observing fiscal discipline and meeting the targets for prudent debt management and credibility in budgetary operations fixed under the Gujarat Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2005. During the last three years gross fiscal deficit has been reduced from 3.5% of GSDP to 2.16% GSDP. On the revenue side, surplus has been achieved in the revised estimates for 2011-12. The debt stock is estimated to decline to 21.07% of GSDP below the target ceiling of 27.1%, he said.

During the entire Eleventh Plan, an allocation of Rs. 53,830 crore was made for the social sectors, amounting to 42% of the total Plan Size. This reflects the commitment of the state government to inclusive growth and human development, he counted. Gujarat registered a growth rate of 9.10 percent in 2011-2012 as compared to national rate of 6.9 percent for the same period.

For the Twelfth Five Year Plan, Shri Modi emphasized Gujarat’s development strategy will continue on human development and inclusive growth while aiming at sustainable double digit growth with uniform development of agriculture, manufacturing and services. He further said that the State Government will make tedious efforts to increase the reach of its three flagship schemes – Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana; Sagarkhedu Sarvangi Vikas Yojana and Garib Samrudhhi Yojana.

Addressing the members of the Planning Commission, Gujarat Chief Minister raised the voice against the attitude and approach of UPA government and said doubts are being raised about the India Growth Story as “never before has the common man reeled under such heavy burden.” With rupee rapidly depreciating against the dollar, Sensex plummeting and RBI appearing helpless in controlling inflation in spite of raising interest rates, and prices of food items soaring high over 10 percent during last five years, the Government of India and Planning Commission should take concrete steps to improve macroeconomic fundamentals as the effects of indecision and adrift in the Centre are casting its dark shadow on the States, he said.

Shri Modi apprised that with the sizable increase in current Plan size as approved by Planning Commission, the State Government would include number of new initiatives and schemes as under:

a) Mukhyamantri Amrutam Yojana to provide financial assistance to BPL families to combat deadly diseases including cancer screening for women in remote locations. Plans afoot to open a medical college in Himmatnagar, two Ayurvedic colleges and one homeopathy college in a tribal area. b) To strengthen ICDS infrastructure, a provision of Rs. 551.91 crore is made for 12,045 new anganwadi Nand Ghars during 2012-13, out of which 4213 will be in urban areas. c) To institutionalize the successfully run School Assessment and Evaluation Programme (Gunotsav) by introducing Gujarat School Evaluation and Accreditation Council for effective implementation of continuous and comprehensive evaluation. d) Development of coastal tourism in all the port areas estimated at Rs 120 crore e) Nand Ghar and construction of Anganwadis of Rs 115 crore. f) 10 new ITIs with five exclusively for women. g) It is envisaged to establish three new Bull Mother Farms and to cover more than 18 lakh animals under scientific breeding. Five new animal hostels during 2012-13.

There are many issues and instances of injustice done to Gujarat and mentioning just few Shri Narendra Modi said the Central government passed the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009 without making any financial provisions and simply levied financial burden on the states. He also lamented that out of Rs 6500 crore under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), only 3400 crore was approved by the Centre. In contrast, he highlighted that the State government will construct 350 new secondary school buildings and 73 new model schools and girl hostels during the current year.

Gujarat produces the maximum vegetables in the country after West Bengal and is on the way of becoming the horticulture hub of India. Gujarat Chief Minister also criticized the anti farmer policies and decisions of the Central Government which has led to widespread distress, agitation and anger amongst farmers in Gujarat. He said Gujarat contributes 1/3rd cotton production in the country. More than 40% cotton seeds and 50% cotton export from India is from Gujarat.

He added that arbitrary banning on cotton export has laid to Gujarat farmers heavily loss of Rs. 14,000 crore in last year. They will also be losses in the current year. Textile Ministry attempts to bring the license raj stiffed in backward direction.

In the meeting, Gujarat Chief Minister pointed out several issues which are pending with various Ministries in the Government of India which include considering DDP areas at par with DPAP areas for funding under A.I.B.P. Scheme, anti-farmer policy on cotton exports, discrimination against Gujarat for CST compensation, non-payment of royalty etc. Shri Modi said that these issues are affecting the development as well as pace of development of the State and its financial resources. Despite repeated representation from the State Government at various levels, there is no positive response from the Central Government. It is unfortunate that some issues remain pending for years together without resolution which leads to a feeling of injustice.

Shri Modi said that UPA has done great injustice to Gujarat by not allocating KG basin gas and low priced gas of LNG for transportation in Ahmedabad city gas network.

Referring several successful initiatives taken on reduction of IMR, MMR and strengthening healthcare services in State during the Eleventh Plan Shri Modi said “We were able to achieve reduction of four points in IMR in a single year (SRS 2010) and the current rate is 44 per thousand live births. Reducing IMR to thirty by 2015 is an important goal for Gujarat. As per SRS 2010, achieved Safe delivery rate is 91.2 and Institutional delivery rate is 79.8%”.

The expansion in irrigation and water management with the spread of drip irrigation and sprinkler irrigation, provision of Soil Health Cards for all land holders, preparation of village wise soil fertility maps (including micronutrients) as well as several others innovations and initiatives like Krishi Mahotsav has resulted in Gujarat achieving 10.8% agricultural growth during the last decade. Under micro irrigation scheme it is proposed to cover 2.5 lac hectares in the current year.

Shri Modi urged the Deputy Chairman to assist the State in expediting the requisite approval for the Sardar Sarovar Project as early completion of the Project would be in the overall interest of the nation. He further said it would be in the national interest for the Central Government to permit Gujarat and other States to buy imported gas and produce electricity and supply the same to NTPC.

“There is an urgent need for the Planning Commission to provide special allocations for urban areas in the Twelfth Plan. There has been considerable delay in announcement of a revamped JnNURM to effectively address the concerns of smaller towns and ensure proportionately higher allocations for the more urbanized states.”

Gujarat Ministers Shri Vajubhai Vala, Shri Saurabhbhai Patel, Shri Ranjitbhai Gilitwala, Vice-Chairman, Planning Commission Shri Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, Chief Secretary Shri A. K. Joti and senior officers from the State Government participated in the meeting.

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