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Gujarat demands Rs.1200 crores for Lokayukta

New Delhi : Gujarat Finance Minister Shri Saurabhbhai Patel yesterday called on Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley and urged him to consider Desert Development Programme (DDP) area at par with Drought Prone Area Programme (DPAP) under Accelerated Irrigation benefit Programme (AIBP) Scheme. He requested that Government of India should also make an immediate payment of royalty on crude oil on post discount price. Gujarat Minister also raised the issue  of releasing of  central fund for Gujarat Lokayukta and said that the crucial bill was not cleared for no fault of ours and therefore Gujarat did not get central funding of Rs. 1200 crores. He demanded that GoI should release the fund to Gujarat as the State Government has already appointed Lokayukta and has done the necessary work required. During the discussion, Shri Patel appraised that under AIBP guidelines, Central Government provides financial assistance to the tune of 90 per cent in Drought Prone Area Programme (DPAP) areas and only 25 per cent in Desert Development Programme (DDP) areas. In the “modified AIBP Guidelines” made effective from October 2013, this anomaly has been removed for new projects benefitting DDP areas/Drought prone areas with 75 per cent assistance. However, the ongoing projects remain stuck at the 25 per cent Central assistance, the Minister stated requesting the Union Minister to extend the same level of Central aid for ongoing project works as well. Shri Patel also explained in detail the Supreme Court judgment which has been in favour of the State Government and at present royalty on crude oil is being paid by the decision taken by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In between for a certain period the UPA Government had done injustice to the state of Gujarat and Shri Patel requested the Union Finance Minister to undo the injustice and direct ONGC to do the needful. Shri Arun Jaitley assured Shri Patel that he will look into the merits of each and every case and will do the needful.

About Sanjay Trivedi

Sanjay Trivedi is honorary editor of Asia Times. He is senior Indian Journalist having vast experience of 25 years. He worked in Janmabhoomi, Vyapar, Divya Bhaskar etc. newspapers and TV9 Channel as well as www.news4education.com. He also served as Media Officer in Gujarat Technological University.

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