Dehradun: Chief Minister Harish Rawat today said recommendations of the 14th Finance Commmission would cause heavy losses to Uttarakhand, sparking a furore in the state assembly with BJP contesting his claim.
Intervening in a reply by Finance Minister Indira Hridayesh to BJP MLA Madan Kaushik's question on the status of funds received from the Centre during the ongoing budget session of the State Assembly, the Chief Minister said due to recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission, Uttarakhand was all set to suffer a loss of Rs 1676.20 crore.
This sparked off angry protests from opposition MLAs who rose from their seats to contradict the CM, asserting that the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission and revision of funding pattern for Uttarakhand had in fact led to a rise of 10 per cent in the amount to be received by the state by way of central funds.
Leader of Opposition Ajay Bhatt asked Rawat not to mislead the House and send a wrong message to the people of the state by complaining about lack of adequate assistance by the Centre.
The Chief Minister conceded that there indeed would be a rise in the amount of central funds to be received by the state, but maintained there would still be a loss of over Rs 1,600 crore due to scrapping of block grants like Special Plan Assistance, Special Central Assistance and Normal Central Assistance.
The Chief Minister and the Leader of Opposition were locked in a verbal duel on the issue till Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal said the matter can be raised in the House later when the debate on the state's annual budget is taken up for discussion.