UPA govt `squeezing` poor states like Bihar: BJP

BJP accused Congress-led UPA government of "squeezing" poor states to impress international rating agencies, saying it lowered by Rs 80,000 crore allocations for schemes in budget for 2013-14.

Patna: BJP on Thursday accused the Congress-led UPA government of "squeezing" the poor states to impress international rating agencies, saying it had lowered by about Rs 80,000 crore the allocations for its flagship schemes in the revised budget for 2013-14.
Citing figures for revised plan outlays for different welfare schemes, former Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi said that cash-strapped backward states like Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand and Assam, which rely on central assistance for development, would be the "worst" sufferers.

"The Manmohan Singh government had made tall claims about working for the welfare of common people.

"It announced a plan expenditure of Rs 5,55,322 crore in the 2013-14 budget, which it has now revised to Rs 4,75,532 crore as the fiscal comes to an end," Modi said.

Modi, who had headed the panel of a group of ministers on GST while he was the Bihar finance minister, said that Finance Minister P Chidambaram had taken the above step to bring the fiscal deficit down from 4.8 per cent to 4.6 per cent and "please" the international rating agencies.

He cited figures to claim that the revised estimate had lowered the allocation for the rural development mission from Rs 74,478 crore to Rs 59,356 crore.
The Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF)`s district component has been decreased to Rs 2,800 crore from an estimated Rs 6,500 crore, he added.

All 38 districts of Bihar are covered under the BRGF scheme.

There has been zero allocation for modernisation of police against an estimated outlay of Rs 425.94 crore.

Funds under multi-sectoral development plan for minorities has been cut from Rs 1,100 crore to Rs 842 crore. The allocation for the midday meal scheme has been brought down to Rs 7,111 crore from the original Rs 7,976 crore, he added.

BJP leaders would highlight the issue prominently, he said.