CHIEF MINISTER Shivraj Singh will demand expansion of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) to secondary sector, upward revision in coal royalty and adequate compensation for mineral resources in the National Development Council (NDC) meeting scheduled on December 9 in New Delhi.
The meeting, to be presided over by Prime Minister Dr Man Mohan Singh, is convened to discuss the Approach Paper for the Eleventh Five-Year Plan. The Chief Minister along with a contingent of top officials will participate in the meeting.
According to official sources, Chouhan will also raise the demand for amendment in the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 in the interest of forest dwellers, mostly tribals, in Madhya Pradesh.
He would also seek removal of anomalies in existing schemes and policies of the Union Government to enable more benefits to backward states like MP. Most of these schemes are in health, education and infrastructure sectors.
According to the agenda, Chouhan will advocate for a programme similar to Bharat Nirman to redress major infrastructure gaps in highways, rail network, airports etc to break the vicious circle of underdevelopment in states like Madhya Pradesh. He would also point out some discrepancies in the approach paper.
Several rounds of meetings were held before finalising the State’s views on the approach paper and it has transpired that “though the approach paper has mentioned that the performance of poorer states with poorer infrastructure has been lagging, it has failed to present any new approach to address the problems”.
The Chief Minister would also urge the Union Government to increase subsidy in the agriculture sector on the lines of developed nations.
“While developed nations continue to heavily subsidise their farmers, the Central Government has adopted an ambivalent attitude towards farm subsides,” said a senior officer.
He told the Hindustan Times that the backward states with relatively low irrigation like MP should be treated at par with special category states. Certain very large projects in such states should be declared as national projects and funded Centrally, he pointed out.
The issue of bypassing States in some Centrally-sponsored schemes would also figure during the NDC meet. The Chief Minister would strongly urge the Planning Commission to ensure that grants to states, as a proportion of GDP, must increase annually throughout the plan period.