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Centre pulls up Rawat govt for poor performance

The observations are bound to embarrass chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, urban development minister Madan Kaushik and state chief secretary S Ramaswamy.

dehradun Updated: Jun 29, 2017 20:56 IST
Deep Joshi
Deep Joshi
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand,Venkaiah Naidu,TS Rawat
Union minister Venkaiah Naidu addresses the media in Dehradun on Thursday. Chief minister TS Rawat is seated next to him.(Vinay Santosh Kumar /HT)

DEHRADUN: The Trivendra Singh Rawat-led BJP government may have given a pat on its back for its performance but the Centre is unimpressed by its functioning.

“I regret to state that the (state government’s record) in implementing the centrally funded development schemes during its first 100 days has not been good. Uttarakhand is lagging far behind in implementing the centrally funded schemes in several areas,” Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu told reporters on Thursday after a review of the schemes during his day-long visit to Dehradun.

Uttarakhand also lags behind in implementing the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, he added.

The observations are bound to embarrass chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, urban development minister Madan Kaushik and state chief secretary S Ramaswamy.

Clearance of funds for implementation of the recently approved ‘Smart City’ project for Dehradun would depend on its preparations, Naidu said. The chief minister was advised to appoint a chief executive officer to help resource mobilisation required for a speedy implementation of the ‘Smart City’ project, he said.

“There are standing orders from Prime Minister Narendra Modi that funds are cleared for the centrally funded projects, provided the state governments come up with clear road maps,” he asserted. “‘Reform, perform and transform are the PM’s three sole criteria for releasing funds for the centrally funded schemes being implemented in the state.”

Naidu said officials were given necessary guidance to accelerate implementation of all central schemes at the review meeting jointly presided over by him and Rawat. “They were asked to organise a workshop for capacity building of officials so that they can implement the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in keeping with the Centre’s vision,” he said, adding that officials were asked to set targets and deadlines.

“The officials implementing the Housing for All scheme were asked to organise a two-day workshop. They were also told to set targets for implementing works in a time bound manner,” Naidu said.

Expressing dissatisfaction over slow implementation of the Housing for All scheme, he said the state government had so far sought approval for building just 4,675 houses. “We were informed that the factors such as strict forest laws are coming in the way of speedy implementation of the project,” Naidu said, adding that the state was advised to relax land and forest laws to spare Nazul (state owned land) and forest land for the scheme.

“Relaxation in all those rules is necessary because housing for the poor is a must.”

“There is no need for chief ministers, ministers and officials to make rounds of Delhi to get their projects cleared”, Naidu clarified.

Naidu termed the proposed countrywide enforcement of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) an “epoch making” event. “It is a revolutionary taxation system, which will bring down prices of commodities and inflation while giving a boost to the country’s economy,” Naidu said, adding that 142 countries had already implemented the GST. “But so far, no country of India’s demographic size with a population of nearly 145 crore has implemented it.”

Earlier, Naidu inaugurated Doordarshan and Akashvani Kendras in Doon. “It will start broadcasting programmes based languages spoken in Uttarakhand and its varied cultures by the next year,” he said

First Published: Jun 29, 2017 20:56 IST