Akhilesh Yadav emphasised the fact that due to lack of monetary help from the Central Government, social development schemes are getting affected and as a result, needy people are deprived of the help they need.<
The priority list of our leaders probably does not include development of the country and the States. Had this not been the case, then the drafts for approval of the 12th Five Year Plan in the 57th National Development Council (NDC) meeting held in Delhi would not have become a game of politics. All the non Congress Governments across the country had a lot of ‘displeasure points’ on many issues of the draft of the 12th Five Year Plan and the State Governments strongly voiced their dissent to the Central Government on many of these issues. On certain issues they even refused to give support to the Central Government. It was mainly in the direct cash subsidy issue that the non Congress State Governments threw up their hands. Talking about Uttar Pradesh, it was believed that the Akhilesh Yadav Government would not miss the opportunity of attacking the Central Government. This did happen and Akhilesh Yadav clearly stated that his Government did not like the indifference of the Central Government. Not only the State Government, but the general public too feels that the Central Government keeps making promises but more often than not, fails to deliver on these promises and leaves the public empty handed.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav raised many questions related to the issues which are creating hindrances in the development of the State during the 57th NDC meeting held under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He emphasised the fact that due to lack of monetary help from the Central Government, social development schemes are getting affected and as a result, needy people are deprived of the help they need. On behalf of the State Government, Akhilesh Yadav stated strongly that the Central Government should take quick action for the interim development of Bundelkhand, Purvanchal and Central Uttar Pradesh taking into consideration their specific geographical, social and economic condition. He stated that the package allocated for the development of Bundelkhand is not enough and the Central Government should consider the backwardness of Bundelkhand as a national problem and should provide necessary resources. However it was not the first instance when the State Government had expressed its displeasure to the Central Government. Prior to the Akhilesh Yadav Government in the State, the Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati was continuously seen making allegations against the Central Government about not helping the State Government.
Akhilesh Yadav said that the State Government has given priority to basic infrastructure development in the 12th Five Year Plan and has fixed a target of 8.5 per cent growth rate. To achieve a growth rate of 4.9 per cent in agriculture, 7.1 per cent in industry and 10.9 per cent in the service sector, an investment of Rs. 16.70 lakh crore is a requirement. In the mean time it seems pretty certain from the efforts made by the State Government that there would be an increase in investments, but this cannot be achieved without the support of the Central Government. If affirmative support is received from the Central Government then the State Government would surely achieve the desired targets. But the Chief Minister is worried about the fact that on one hand the gross budgetary support overall has been increased by the Central Government while on the other hand the Central Government support in budgetary terms for the States has been decreased. This would affect the developmental schemes of the States. The financial resources of the States are already very limited and have been reduced even more by the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act. Akhilesh Yadav requested that to enable them to acquire additional resources, the States should also be given the flexibility in the FRBM Act similar to that of the Central Government.
Not only the State Government, but the general public too feels that the Central Government keeps making promises but more often than not, fails to deliver on these promises and leaves the public empty handed. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav raised many questions related to the issues which are creating hindrances in the development of the State during the 57th NDC meeting held under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Akhilesh Yadav said that all productive activities which would increase the level of production in the field of agriculture, which is a most important sector, are being followed assiduously. Discussing the topic of the second green revolution in the country, he said that it is important to give an adequate amount of money to the farmers for their yields. The State Government has made schemes to make infertile and barren lands agriculturally fertile. The price of sugarcane has been fixed at Rs. 170 per quintal by the Indian Government, whereas the State Government has fixed Rs, 280 per quintal as the State support price for the yields of the farmers taking into consideration the income made by the sugar mills and the investment made by the farmers for their yields. This decision of the State Government would receive a payment of Rs. 21,500 crore for the farmers of the State.
The Chief Minister said that the State has made arrangements to attain more than 10 per cent development in the areas of agricultural diversification in addition to providing loans to the farmers at lower interest rates. He also urged the Central Government to provide new technologies and development in infrastructure. Keeping in mind the small and marginalised farmers of the State, the Chief Minister requested the Central Government not to increase diesel prices. To improve the supply of electricity in the village areas and to provide electricity for tube wells, the Chief Minister suggested plans for making a separate feeder line scheme for the provision of electricity. The Chief Minister has expectations of getting support from the Central Government for the scheme.
Akhilesh Yadav said that an 8 lane road from Lucknow to Agra would be constructed to ensure the provision of a strengthened infrastructure system in the State. All the district headquarters are being linked with 4 lane roads. To strengthen the road network in the State, Akhilesh Yadav expected monetary help from the Indian Government in making 4 lane roads from Lucknow to Rupaidiha on Nepal border via Bahraich and from Gorakhpur to Varanasi. Focusing on the development of tourism in the State, he laid emphasis on building a new international airport near Kushinagar and Agra and stated that the participation of the Central Government in this regard is very important.
The Chief Minister also said that to make speedy industrial development and to arrange the desired investment, the State Government has recently introduced a new industrial policy in which special provision has been made for attracting and increasing investments in areas like Purvanchal and Bundelkhand. Involvement of the private sectors for the development of establishment services has been made an integral part of this industrial policy. He also said that to assure the availability of power, the State Government has already started working for the power generation project of 16,000 mega watts. But due to lack of availability of coal, these projects have not made the desired progress so far. Similarly, the request for the allocation of coal for the other seven private power projects is still pending. The Chief Minister therefore demanded the immediate allocation of coal for the progress of these projects from the Central Government.
Urging that special importance be given to education, health and agriculture, the Chief Minister said special efforts have to be made to make the people of the country literate. The Government must make arrangements of scholarships for the students of various sections of the society so that all sections of society can become a part of the development process. While giving information about the free of cost land given for the construction of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Rae Bareli by the State Government, he said that due to the varying geographical condition of the State the Centre should establish institutions like AIIMS in places like Bundelkhand, Purbanchal and Rohilkhand areas. He said that for prevention and cure of Japanese encephalitis, the Central Government should make serious efforts to introduce multidimensional and time bound policies. The Central Government should give 100 per cent technical and financial support to medical research, full medical coverage and technology to combat the deadly Japanese encephalitis. To combat cancer in the State, he asked the Central Government to support the State Government in establishing a modernised cancer hospital in the State. He also asked the Centre to increase the financial and technical support for the AIDS control programme. To give a new direction to technical education in the State, Akhilesh Yadav said that the Central Government should increase the number of Industrial Training Institutes (ITI’s) and polytechnic colleges in the State. The Central Government should also bring in some fundamental changes to raise the standard of training in these institutes. Citing the huge population and the geographical area, he pointed out to the Central Government that there is a need to establish 2 more Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in the State. While mentioning the State Government’s efforts for women’s empowerment, he said that their Government has introduced policies named ‘Kanya Vidyadhan Yojana,’ ‘Hamari Beti Uska Kal Yojana,’ ‘Padhen Betiyan Badhe Betiyan’ in the State. Apart from this, to enhance computer education among the students in the State, the State Government has decided to distribute free of cost tablet PC to students who pass the 10th standard and provide free of cost laptops to students who pass 12th standard. For the poor sections of society, the State Government has introduced ‘Rani Lakshmi Bai Pension Yojana’ and to maintain the morale of the unemployed youth of the State, the Government has started giving one thousand rupees per month as unemployment allowance.
Akhilesh Yadav asked the Central Government to adopt and implement the recommendations of the B. K. Chaturvedi Committee on Restructuring of Centrally Sponsored Schemes with immediate effect.
The way in which the head of the Uttar Pradesh Samajwadi Government attacked the Centre at the NDC meeting, it appears he wants to win the political battle by attacking the Central Government. To ‘encircle’ the Central Government, the State Government can make more such ‘difficult to fulfill’ demands from the Centre. And then taking this as the base, the Central Government could be brought into the ‘pallisade’.