Centre discriminating against Jharkhand: Munda

Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda on Wednesday alleged the Centre was discriminating against the state by not providing a special package as demanded by it.

Ranchi: Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda
on Wednesday alleged the Centre was discriminating against the state
by not providing a special package as demanded by it.

"99 per cent of 100 tonne coal energy is going to the
country`s energy requirement, but the Centre asked us to
increase internal resources when we sought a special package,"
Munda, who completed a year in office on September 11, told
reporters here.
"We told the Centre that despite Jharkhand having enormous
mineral resources, 80 per cent of the control is in its hand.
Therefore, the state deserved a special package to set up
infrastructure.

"Despite enduring such discrimination, we have taken
measures to increase our internal resources to spend on
development projects," he said.

The chief minister cited projects at Latehar (3,500 MW),
Gamariah (1,000 MW) and Dhanbad (1,020 MW) which would make
the state "an energy hub" and said that the state planned to
produce over 5,000 MW in the coming years to meet its own and
the country`s needs.

Munda said the government had increased 63 per cent of
budgetary provisions compared to the last fiscal.

He, however, thanked the Centre for agreeing in principle
to treat the road bridge on Ganga river from Sahibganj to
Gobindpur as a national project.
"Now we are trying to convince the Centre to declare the
Rs 6,600 crore multi-purpose Swarnrekha irrigation project as
a national project which will also cover parts of Orissa."

Apparently referring to the spate of scams that hit the
state with former chief minister Madhu Koda, his ex-cabinet
members and a host of government officials in jail on
corruption charges, the chief minister said Jharkhand had shed
its "questionable image".

"(After coming back to power), our first priority was to
overcome such an image. We succeeded through clean and good
governance with lots of people-friendly and progressive
measures.

"I have sanctioned all recommendations that came to me for
(CBI) probe in connection with corruption charges. By
December, an anti-corruption bill will be in place to root out
corruption," Munda said.

The state has also set goals to complete welfare and other
projects in a time bound manner, said Munda, who is the eighth
chief minister in over ten years of Jharkhand`s creation and
in his third term.

PTI

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