Maharashtra annual plan finalised at Rs 25,000 crore

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New Delhi, Mar 5 (UNI) The annual plan for Maharashtra for the year 2008-09 has been finalised at Rs 25,000 crores by the Planning Commission today.

''This years plan is a mega jump of 24 per cent increase compare to last years plan'' an official release said.

The annual plan was discussed in detail at the meeting between the Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia and the Chief Minister Vilas Rao Deshmukh.

Welcoming the historic loan waiver decision of the Finance Minister P Chidambaram to the extent of Rs 60,000 crores to small and marginal farmers, Mr Deshmukh said, ''their was a need to modify the norms, since equal justice has been given to farmers holding five acres of irrigated land and farmers holding five acres of dry land, causing injustice.'' Hence, the CM suggested for a need to modify this waiver amount to farmers holding either five acres of irrigated land or farmers with 15 acres of dryland or Rs 50,000 financial limit to dry land farmers benefiting numerous farmers of Vidarbha and Marathwada regions.

The CM urged for allocation under AIBP, be on the basis of area under irrigation below National Average. The irrigation project funded under PM's Package, should be fully funded by the Centre and such grants should be over and above ther Central assistance normally sanctioned.

The CM also appealed to declare the major Gosikhurd Irrigation Project of the backward Vidarbha region as a national project Mr Deshmukh has also asked for a Special Central Assistance to the tune of Rs 50 crores for Baba Saheb Ambedkas Marathwara University at Aurangabad.

The CM informed that a separate department to look after the welfare of Minorities has been formed.

Mr Deshmukh requested for Rs 400 crores of sanction from the Centre for the BRIMSTOWAD Project for Mumbai city.

UNI BJR PDT AS2128

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