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Capt Singh discusses rural indebtedness with Montek

Written by: Staff

Chandigarh, July 3 (UNI) In a bid to save the agrarian economy of the state, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has urged the Planning Commission to consider Punjab's rural indebtedness case and provide relief to bail out the farmers from the vicious debt trap.

He made this plea in a meeting with Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia at New Delhi today.

The Chief Minister submitted a detailed proposal to Dr Ahulwalia ABOUT debt relief. ThE proposal was submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Finance Minister P Chidambram last month by Capt Singh.

Capt Singh requested the Planning Commission to expedite the pending debt relief case of Punjab on lines similar to vidarbha.

Pleading to resolve the agrarian crisis on long term basis in the state, Capt Singh underscored the need to give 'extra cushion' to Punjab's economy in the 11 th Five Year Plan. He referred to the three fold measures to overcome the agrarian crisis-- one time settlement of agricultural loans/debt, ensure remunerative MSP for crops other than wheat and paddy and support state specific agriculture diversification programmes and initiatives.

The Chief Minister said that the state was hit by the unrealistic parameters set by the Central Government to avail of benefits under centrally sponsored schemes. He justified that the relatively prosperous and well performing states should not be penalised for the growth already achieved.

''Redefining the poverty line to make it state specific for better performing states, relative poverty should be considered than the poverty in absolute terms'', asserted Capt Singh.

The Chief Minister also urged Dr Ahluwalia to ensure higher allocation of funds for the development of the physical infrastructure in the core areas of power, irrigation, roads and bridges and airport.He also advocated for an adequate support and assistance for the state to adopt alternative modes of delivery of health and education to improve the quality of life.

He also urged the Planning Commission to lay special emphasis on social security, empowerment of PRIs, provision of quality health and educational services for the disadvantaged groups especially the Dalits.

During the meeting, Dr Ahluwalia lauded the significant improvement in the fiscal parameters of the state and asked Capt Singh to bring further improvement in the fields of health and family welfare, education, industrial development and diversification in agriculture. He also appreciated the efforts of the state government in attracting substantial private industrial investment to the state.


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