HP demands Rs 2,500 cr for resource gap by 13th Fin Commission

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Shimla, January 19 (PTI) Himachal Pradesh governmenttoday asked the Centre for special economic package of Rs2,500 crore to cover up the resource gap created by "adverserecommendations" of the 13th Finance Commission, in respect ofthe special category for hill states.

After recognising the adverse impact of the FinanceCommission recommendations on special category states, theUnion government had constituted a committee headed by AdvisorPlanning Commission to estimate the total resource gap during2010-15, state Chief Minister P K Dhumal said at thepre-Budget meeting of state finance ministers in New Delhi.

However, he added, the committee recommendations werestill not known. The committee was supposed to give therecommendations by December 31, 2010, but the term had beenextended up to March 31, 2011.

He hoped that the recommendations would be considered inpositive light by the Finance Ministry and affected stateswould be bailed out.

Dhumal also requested the Centre to give ''untied specialplan assistance'' of Rs 1,500 crore to fund state annual planfor 2011-12, by making necessary provision in the Budget.

Urging the government to reconsider the recommendationsof 13th finance Commission, he said the government shouldrevert to old practices under which such dispensations weremade without linking them to fiscal deficit targets.

The Chief Minister reiterated the demand for allowing thestate government to impose 10 per cent generation tax onelectricity generated by hydropower projects in the statekeeping in view of recommendations of C Rangarajan Committeeand said that the annual additional annual revenue of Rs 250crore would accrue from the tax kitty.

He also raised the demand for extension of industrialincentive package up to March 2013 and added thatclarification issued by the Central Board of Excise andCustoms regarding availability of excise duty benefits onIndustry expansion has not adequately addressed the issuesraised by the state.

He suggested setting up of a robust PDS system withadequate provision of essential commodities on the basis ofnumber of families dependent and their actual requirements.

The Centre was providing only 8,500 MT rice per month asagainst the original demand of 21,000 MT rice, 4,704 MT oflevy sugar and 3,352 kilo litre kerosene oil against thedemand of 5,172 MT of sugar and 4848 kilo litre of keroseneoil, respectively, he said.

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