Despite Union finance minister Arun Jaitley's statement that all states had been provided adequate funds for central schemes, the Himachal government has again demanded funding on the analogy of that given to northeastern states.
After the chief ministers' subcommittee on centrally sponsored schemes (CSS) set up by NITI Aayog arrived at a consensus to reduce the number of schemes from 72 to 30 and more than double the flexi funds limit from 10% to 25%, Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh wrote to Jaitley demanding compensation for CSS funding in the ratio of 90:10.
Raising the flexi funds limit may have pleased the state government but it is still feeling the pinch of losing around `3,000 crore after special, normal and central plan assistance was scrapped. However, at an official consultation held in Chandigarh recently, NITI Aayog CEO Sindhushree Khullar had made it clear all states had been given more funds by raising their share in taxes from 32% to 42%. "Every state is citing the losses they have incurred. If this is so where has the money gone?" he had reportedly asked at the meeting.
Initially, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, who heads the chief ministerial subgroup on centrally sponsored schemes, had said there would be no cuts in funding provided to Himachal "keeping its hilly topography in mind." However, the there was no mention of the state's topography in his report. "We want funding on the basis of that provided to northeastern states as they have a similar topography, sparse railway network and share a border with China," a state planning official who requested anonymity said.
State had been pinning hopes on CM's sub-group on CSS but after having no mention of topographical conditions, it had to resort back on writing to centre. State has projected the revenue surplus in budget for FY16 on the basis of more funds expected under CSS. In budget for FY 2015-16, the state has anticipated revenue receipts of ` 23,534 crore, including ` 2,334.69 crore under CSS grants.
Discontinuation of SPA, NCA and SCA: `2,900 crore
Reduction in additional central assistance: `447 crore
Altered CSS pattern: `510 crore
Non-reflection of CSS: `41 crore
Total: `3,839 crore