Participating in a pre-budget consultation between Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley with state finance ministers, Haryana Finance Minister H S Chattha on Tuesday submitted a list of demands to the Centre.
The state government demanded that Rs 4800 crore be released immediately in respect of overdue Central Sales Tax (CST) compensation pertaining to the year up to 2012-13. Chattha also claimed 100 per cent compensation for the loss on account of CST from 2013-14. “The state government requires this money urgently to pursue its development agenda and for the welfare of the people,” Chattha said.
Haryana also demanded that minimum support price (MSP) of various crops be fixed 50 per cent higher than the actual cost of cultivation as recommended by a working group on agriculture production headed by Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. Pending preparation of such a policy, Haryana demanded a bonus of Rs 300 per quintal for wheat.
Besides cheaper long term loans for farmers and a package of Rs 500 crore for promoting underground pipeline, drip irrigation and sprinkler irrigation among others, the state also demanded that free import of farm tools be allowed and an assistance of Rs 600 crore for setting up a horticulture terminal market at Gannaur in Sonepat.
Chattha further mentioned that the state requires an assistance of Rs 10,000 crore over the next five years to maintain 1,459 canals, 15,404 water courses and 800 drains, as these were not national assets and Haryana was the top most contributor of foodgrain for the national pool.
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“Industrial hubs in Haryana have been created at a huge cost, especially in NCR, and thus should be treated as an national asset. Special package should be prepared to boost manufacturing. NCR is one of the fastest growing and vibrant economic regions of the country. It has potential to create lakhs of jobs. Development of expressways, Regional Rapid Transport System, sewage waste disposal, power and water supply and extension of Metro is For needed for NCR,” he said.
Chattha added that NH 65 from Ambala to Kaithal and Kaithal to Rajasthan border and NH-73 from Panchkula to Yamunanagar should be four-lanned. He added that the Centre should lower the age of eligibility for getting old age pension from 65 to 60 years as has been done in Haryana. The government also demanded launching of a national scheme, on the pattern of Haryana, for providing monthly scholarships to SC and weaker section students.