Hooda seeks upgradation grants of Rs 9,671 cr

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Chandigarh, Jul 17 (UNI) Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda today urged the 13th Finance Commission to consider the state's requirement for upgradation grants amounting to Rs 9,671.33 crore for selected services for the period 2010-15.

He also requested the Commission to recommend liberal grant for proper maintenance of capital assets of the state estimated to cost Rs 5,385.92 crore.

The Chief Minister made these demands during his meeting with the Finance Commission officials, led by its Chairman Dr Vijay L Kelkar, here.

Mr Hooda said the state government had assessed its maintenance requirements for irrigation works, roads, buildings and water supply schemes.

He pointed out that the 12th Finance Commission had assessed the maintenance requirement of the state, but meager grants were recommended for maintenance of roads and public buildings.

Similarly, the state had received upgradation grant of only Rs 82.65 crore from the 11th Commission, but the 12th Commission did not recommend any upgradation grant for the state.

The Chief Minister drew the attention of Dr Kelkar towards reduction in the state's share in central taxes from 1.23 per cent to 1.07 per cent, which was lower by more than 13 per cent, due to the recommendations of the 12th Finance Commission.

He pointed out that the successive Finance Commissions in the past had accorded greater weightage to the redistribution criteria of backwardness and poverty, which had resulted in lower devolution to the better performing states like Haryana.

The growth strategy of Haryana had continued to lay emphasis on building and upgradation of economic and social infrastructure, he added.

Mr Hooda pointed out that now Haryana was in the midcourse of 11th Five Year Plan, but it had been finding difficult to implement its socio-economic programmes without proper support from the Central government.

He, therefore, urged the 13th Finance Commission to appreciate Haryana's initiative and recommend expansion of divisible pool of taxes from the existing level of 30.5 per cent to 50 per cent.

At the same time, he suggested the need to modify the composition, contents and coverage of the existing distributive criteria of tax sharing. He suggested that population should be the main criteria as population is the only objective criteria to determine the real financial needs of the states.

He, therefore, suggested a weightage of 50 per cent to population as per census 2001.

UNI MA SG RAI2047

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