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Congress was allergic to Gujarat: State minister

Claiming that the Congress was "allergic" to it, a Gujarat minister has said the previous UPA government had a "discriminatory" attitude towards the state which hampered its growth prospects and prevented it from performing better than it had done.

PTI| Updated: Aug 24, 2014, 15:17 PM IST

New Delhi: Claiming that the Congress was "allergic" to it, a Gujarat minister has said the previous UPA government had a "discriminatory" attitude towards the state which hampered its growth prospects and prevented it from performing better than it had done.

Gujarat`s Finance Minister Saurabh Patel said clearances to a large number of programmes and proposals besides other dues of the state were denied to it during the Manmohan Singh government and things have started to change since the Narendra Modi dispensation took over three months ago.

"I can tell you, there were environment issues which we were not getting permission from the Centre from ages....Look at everything, the revenues, oil royalty. What happened? Rs 10,000 crore they did not give us," he told PTI in an interview.
Patel, who earlier served in the Modi Cabinet in Gujarat, said the state was getting oil royalty at the rate which the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government had formulated, resulting in big revenues for the state.

Suggesting that that decision had been altered by the previous UPA government, Patel said, "How can you change the Cabinet note, a Cabinet decision by an administrative order? And that administrative order has cost the government of Gujarat Rs 10,000 crore. Who was listening to us? Nobody was listening to us."

Giving another example, he said, "GNFC (Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers and Chemicals Limited) produces urea. It is in excess. We told them please allow us to have industrial area. You will save foreign exchange. They were not listening... The existing minister, in two days, he gave it (permission)."
Patel said, "In spite of this resistance, we have touched the double-digit growth."

Asked whether he was suggesting that the former Congress-led government had discriminated against Gujarat and it had hampered the growth prospects of the state, he said, "There is no doubt about it."