Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi accused the Centre of adopting a big brother attitude wherein schemes are launched but the financial burden is passed on to the states.
During his interaction with the Planning Commission where the state’s annual plan for Rs 59,000 crore was approved, Modi made a presentation on how the states were not being given their due, despite the country having a federal structure.
He alleged that though he is consistently presenting the issues faced by Gujarat before the Centre, no solution was forthcoming.
According to Modi, issues ranging from gas pricing, raising the height of the Sardar Sarovar Project, and Central Legislations such as right to education and changes in programmes like the NHRM were burdening the states as the Centre was not giving adequate funds.
While Modi raised a litany of complaints against the Centre, the Planning Commission challenged his claims of all-round development in Gujarat.
Deputy chairman of the Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia told reporters in presence of Modi that though Gujarat was among the better performing states, it needs to do more on the social sector front.
“There was a lot of discussion on the social sector. I think generally it has been our view that Gujarat needs to bring its social sector performance upto the economic size by paying special attention to it.” The Panel pressed the need for improving the Social Welfare sector and increasing the enrolment of girls in schools.
Modi hit back saying that the state spends 42 per cent of its Budget on social sector with a moto of ‘sabka saath sabka vikas’.
“The funds would help in the upliftment of all sections of the society especially the SC/ST and the tribals. We want to have all sections of the society to get the benefits of growth,” he added.
“Gujarat has played a big role in the development of the country. In terms of contribution and GDP, we are among the highest contributors”, he said.
The Panel, meanwhile, expressed concern over the high drop-out rate of SC/ST students, absence of adequate health workers at district and primary health centres and the issue of malnutrition.
The contributorsssion finalised `59,000 crore, which will include Central assistance to the State Plan of about `3,979 crore.