Decline in central assistance cause of serious con

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav termed the decline in central assistance to states as a cause of "serious concern".

New Delhi: Terming the decline in central assistance to states as a cause of "serious concern", Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday asked the Centre to discourage the practice of not taking state governments on board while finalising sectoral distributions.

He also said that the already scarce resources of the states were getting further constricted by the provisions of a law which restricts borrowing limits.

"...The sectoral distribution without consultation with the state government should be discouraged...While in the 12th Five-Year Plan, there has been an increase in the gross budgetary support, the central assistance to the states has declined from 26.52 per cent in the 11th Plan to 24.04 per cent in the 12th Plan," he said.

Addressing the 57th National Development Council (NDC) meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here, Yadav said the decline in central assistance would adversely affect the developmental programmes of the states. "This is a cause of serious concern," he said.

Referring to the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2003, the UP Chief Minister said the law has fixed the borrowing limits as well as the gross state domestic product of the states.

"Infringement of this target by the central government does not adversely affect their resources. We suggest that to mobilise additional resources, similar flexibility should be granted to state governments," he said.

In his maiden speech at NDC, Yadav, who was elected Chief Minister earlier this year, demanded central assistance for various schemes of the states to improve irrigation, agricultural produce and infrastructure.