Cabinet nod for Rahul’s B'khand plan
Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi's plans for development of Bundelkhand today received the nod of the government which announced a special package of Rs 7,266 crore for development of the drought-hit region that spans across Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.india Updated: Nov 20, 2009 01:51 IST
The government on Thursday gave the Bundelkhand package backed by Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi a hard push, announcing a special package of Rs 7,266 crore for development of the drought-hit region that spans across Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
The Union Cabinet, however, did not create a special authority as suggested by Rahul, apparently in light of the sensitivities of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh governments.
Instead, the Cabinet decided to set up a monitoring group chaired and co-chaired by Planning Commission members in-charge of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh and include chief secretaries of the two states.
The package for three years is aimed at optimisation of water resources through rainwater harvesting and through proper utilisation of river systems in seven districts of Uttar Pradesh and six districts of Madhya Pradesh, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni announced at a briefing after the Cabinet meeting on Thursday evening.
Rahul visited the region last year and followed up his visit with a delegation of senior party leaders of the two states to the prime minister to seek the package for the drought-hit region.
Soni said “the question of authority probably is not being felt since both the states have been authorised to decide in the areas pertaining to Bundelkhand for development.”
Soni said a team had visited the region last year and submitted its report, recommending a package of Rs 8,316 crore.
The Cabinet also cleared changes to the mid-day meal provided to nearly 12 crore students daily that would be higher on nutrition with more pulses and vegetables and less oil. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs cleared the change in the National Programme for Mid Day Meal in Schools.
The CCEA also decided to increase quantity of pulses from 25 to 30 gm, vegetables from 65 to 75 gm and to decrease the quantity of oil and fat from 10 to 7.5 grams, an official spokesperson said.