Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi took a backseat and allowed his men to settle scores with the Planning Commission regarding the panel’s criticism of Gujarat’s development model.
Modi even coined a new slogan for development “sabka vikas sabka saath” and remained quiet most of the time.
In earlier annual plan meetings, Modi used to himself counter criticism of his developmental model but this time he watched as his men blamed the panel for wrong interpretation of data, especially on school education, projecting Gujarat in a bad light.
“He (Modi) did not speak much,” a plan panel official said and added that Gujarat’s video presentation had some stark remarks against the central government policies.
At one point, the Centre was accused of playing the big brother in policy making with reference to home ministry’s National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC) and claimed that the states were expected to follow suit.
“We find that the propensity of the Centre to create huge administrative and financial responsibilities for the states through the instrument of central legislation is on the rise,” the presentation said, while citing RTE as an example of creating undue financial burden on the state governments.
The presentation also drew attention towards MM Punchhi Commission’s recommendation of the Centre paying for additional expenditure liabilities of the state on account of the implemention of central legislations.
Panel sources agreed with many points raised by Modi on gas pricing, problems in flow of funds to the states to improve irrigation but differed with him on social sector progress. “Benefit of economic growth has not reached the poor especially the scheduled tribes,” a senior functionary said.
Modi thanked the plan panel for approving the plan of Rs 59,000 crore as against the state’s demand of Rs 58,500 crore.