BANGALORE: Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda has sought the intervention of the Planning Commission in seeking higher central assistance to tackle the drought situation in the state.
In his meeting with Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Wednesday to get approval for the state's plan size for 2012-13, Gowda requested the latter to impress upon the Centre to provide immediate assistance to tackle the drought which has affected 123 taluks of the state.
"The state government had given a memorandum seeking central assistance of `2,606 crore. The central teams have also given reports on the severity of drought in Karnataka. But so far there is no response from the Centre," Gowda said.
He also demanded the Centre to restore the import duty on silk to 30 per cent from the current 5 per cent in order to protect the interest of the farmers.
Other demands the CM made during the meeting include: providing coal linkages to state's power plants, speedy implementation of railway projects, amendment to Article 371 D of the Constitution for providing reservation in education and government jobs to the people of the backward Hyderabad-Karnataka region, approval by the ministry of railways for the commuter rail system for Bangalore city.
The Planning Commission has approved the plan size of `42,030 crore for 2012-13 as proposed by the state which is 10 percent higher than the last year's plan size. Not withstanding the opposition's cry that the state was going into debt trap under his regime, the CM has requested the Planning Commission to raise the state's borrowing limit.
"Karnataka has the capacity to sustain larger amount of debt. Therefore, I request the PC to advise the finance ministry to set borrowing limit based on debt sustaining capacity." He also requested the PC to advise Union ministries not to bypass state in routing funds for Central schemes.