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HindustanTimes Fri,26 Dec 2014

Congmen express dissatisfaction over delay in forming new panel

Prithviraj Singh, Hindustan Times  Dehradun, August 22, 2014
First Published: 15:51 IST(22/8/2014) | Last Updated: 16:46 IST(17/9/2014)

A section of Congressmen in Uttarakhand has expressed dissatisfaction at the delay in constituting a new state Congress working committee. But the party leadership is unlikely to constitute the committee before mid-October.

Sources in the organisation said that detractors of the new PCC leadership are trying to rake up the issue of the delay in forming the working committee.

This group of Congress leaders said that newly appointed PCC president Kishor Upadhyaya wants to keep his opponents in the party at bay. They plan to bring this fact to the notice of AICC state in charge Ambika Soni and other senior leaders who have a say in the state organisation.

However, the PCC leadership is not baffled and said that they have had other priorities in the recent past. Well placed sources in the organisation said Upadhyaya is not perturbed by his detractors and is focusing on increasing party membership. Besides, the Congress high command is also not in a hurry to form the new PCC working body. Upadhyaya had dissolved the earlier PCC working committee nearly a month ago.

“Till now new the PCC president has not got time to consider prospective names for the PCC working committee as he was busy in other things. First it was the panchayat elections, then assembly by-elections and now on top of the agenda is the membership drive,” said PCC chief coordinator Jot Singh.

Singh added that PCC bodies cannot be constituted in a day or two as leadership has to take into account the entire situation. “At present the PCC chief wants to focus on the membership drive across almost 10,000 polling booths in the state which began on Wednesday. He will make trips to six districts in Kumaon between August 1 and September 6 in order to assess antecedents of Congressmen there. This will be followed by similar trips in Garhwal region and then detailed discussions with senior party leaders and legislators,” said Singh.

At present the state Congress has three functionaries including Upadhyaya. Singh is the chief coordinator and Surendra Arya is the state Congress media coordinator.


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‘Central aid to state rose in past 3 yrs, but growth slow’

The annual assistance from the Centre to the state has increased in last few financial years, according to official statistics, even though the Uttarakhand government has been firing salvos at the central government over it.
 
Two days ago, the state Congress unit demanded `4,000 crore financial assistance from the centre.
According to the central statistics office figures, the Centre released `4883.74 crores for the state in 2011-12. It released `4717.68 crores in 2012-2013. And in 2013-2014, it increased the assistance to `5418.60 crores.

Uttarakhand is one of the 11 Himalayan states which enjoy special category status besides Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim.
 
These special category states have to make part payment to the centre in lieu of getting funds for centrally-sponsored schemes.
Interestingly, on an average, central assistance has been substantial for the state though it has not helped Uttarakhand in increasing its Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) which is total monetary value of goods and services produced by a state economy in a given year.
“GSDP depends on various factors like rate of savings and investments and overall business atmosphere. But that doesn’t mean the state does not need help,” said Surender Kumar, media in-charge for CM adding that the state needs more funds.
 
The figures for Uttarakhand GSDP growth at constant (2004-5) price (as on 01-08-2014) was 9.36% in 2011-12. It was 5.61% in 2012-13 and 5.65% in 2013-2014.
 
Sometime back Planning Commission constituted a committee to study development in hill states arising from management of forest land with special focus on creation of infrastructure, livelihood and human development.
 
The report of the committee was discussed in Internal Planning Committee meeting held in February this year.
A Planning Commission note claimed that IPC broadly endorsed the recommendations of the committee. The report has also been forwarded to states for further inputs.

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