Virbhadra meets PM, asks for Rs 7,565 cr package for HP



New Delhi: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh Monday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and sought special assistance of Rs 7,565 crore to tide over a financial crunch.

Singh claimed that the financial crunch has been created by less dispensation to the state by 13th Finance Commission.

He urged for liberal assistance from the Centre for completion of on-going centrally aided projects.

Singh demanded central assistance for all the centrally sponsored programmes and scheme in the ratio of 90:10 ( 90 per cent grant and 10 per cent loan) on the pattern of other special category states, according to an official release.

He said that the resource gap on account of committed liabilities like salaries, pensions and interest payment was Rs 3,522 crore during 2012-13 and it was likely to increase to Rs 4,043 crore during 2013-14.

Singh urged the Prime Minister to reconsider the state's request for restoring the cut of Rs 106.08 core in the approved Special Central Assistance (SCA) allocations for the 2012-13.

The state was allocated a SCA of Rs 900 crore during 2012-13. However, the Government of India was allocating only Rs 793.92 crore during the current financial year, he said.

Singh also requested the Prime Minister to revive the incentives under the Special Industrial Package upto 2020 to accelerate the industrial growth and increase employment generating opportunities.

He also requested that the Centre should delegate the powers to accord environmental clearances for hydel projects to the state govrnment as the hydel power was one of the clean source of energy.

The Chief Minister also requested to restore the air services to Shimla, Kullu and Kangra and increase the frequency of air services keeping in view the vast tourism potential of the state.

The Prime Minister assured to consider all the demands of the state government on priority and initiate measures to speed up the development in the state, the release added.

PTI