Himachal CM’s assertion on grants misleading: Nadda

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New Delhi, Feb 19 (IANS) Union Health and Family Welfare Minister J.P. Nadda on Friday termed the statement made by Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh regarding stoppage of the central government’s grants as misleading.

The central government has recommended highest ever increase in vertical tax devolution from 32 to 42 percent for all states, including Himachal Pradesh, by accepting the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission, Nadda said in a statement.

He said the government has also taken a decision to increase the ratio of central government share in all core schemes under centrally sponsored schemes to 90:10 ratio, thus meeting a long-standing demand of Himachal Pradesh.

Many of the centrally-sponsored schemes, including Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan and command area development scheme, where in the state government share used to be in the range of 25 to 35 percent has been brought to 10 percent state share thus giving a substantial relief to the hill state, said the statement.

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By maintaining 90:10 funding for these states, the National Democratic Alliance government has devolved much more funds than the previous United Progressive Alliance government, the statement said.

“Unfortunately, Himachal Pradesh has frittered away this windfall on non-productive assets. The chief minister is still functioning in a dole and patronage mode,” Nadda, who belongs to the hill state, said.

He said a total tax devolution of Rs.28,225 crore has been estimated to Himachal Pradesh for 2015-20 against actual release of Rs.11,131 crore during 2010-15, an increase of Rs.17,094 crore over a period of five years.

Besides, grants-in-aid has also been recommended for the hill state to the tune of Rs.43,810 crore for 2015-20, an increase of Rs.33,356 crore over actual release during 2010-15, he added.

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The chief minister had expressed concern regarding stoppage of release of grants to the tune of Rs.3,000 crore annually by the centre under the central schemes.

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