Dhumal takes on Virbhadra over carbon credits

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Shimla, May 12 (UNI) A day after former Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh accused the state government of misleading the people over the carbon credit project, state Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal today rued his lack of understanding of the issue and said he was creating confusion and deviating from the real issues.

''To quote Rs 1,50,000 crore, which is state's forest wealth, as the amount of carbon credits is only an indicator of the lack of understanding on the part of former chief minister,'' he said here.

Mr Dhumal said the former chief minister's claim that the previous Congress Government had initiated the plan for availing finance from the World Bank was ''ridiculous and far from truth''.

The present state government had conceptualised, conceived and assessed Rs 15,000 crore as tentative value of carbon credits on account of its huge forest wealth that was being protected from felling, he said.

He said the Centre has referred the issue of carbon credits to the 13th Finance Commission only after the BJP Government raised the issue with it.

Instead of appreciating the present government's move, the first by any state government, Mr Singh was trying to take credit, he added.

The Chief Minister claimed that Mr Singh, during his five-year tenure, was busy targetting his opponents in the party instead of initiating steps for the welfare of the people of the state.

He also criticised the former chief minister for seeking credit over increasing the wages of daily workers and enhancing social security pension after the BJP Government had increased the day wages to Rs 100 from Rs 75 and enhancing pension from Rs 200 to Rs 300.

UNI AS JN MMS1940

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