MANY PROPOSALS and demands of the Haryana government failed to find place in the Union Budget presented on February 1.
The state government had demanded additional assistance through the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) to compensate for Rs 3,500 crore loss of Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS) for the interest waiver scheme it started to provide debt relief to farmers.
It had also sought three rail projects and funds for a rapid rail transit system. The state did not get any of these schemes, though Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman selected Rakhigarhi village in Hisar to be developed as an ‘iconic site’ with a museum.
At a meeting convened by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Delhi on December 18, 2019, the state had urged the Centre that three projects of rail lines — Karnal-Yamunanagar, Jind-Hansi and Haryana Orbital Rail Corridor — should come up in the Budget address.
The state had also demanded to make available funds for rapid rail transit system passing through Haryana from Sarai Kalekhon in Delhi to Shahjahanpur-Neemrana-Bahrod in Rajasthan.
The Haryana government has proposed three projects worth Rs 3,700 crore to expand irrigation facilities. For this purpose, the state government had also sought approval to use at least Rs 600 crore from the funds received from the Centre under Micro Irrigation Fund to bring one lakh hectare area under micro irrigation in Haryana.
It also wanted financial assistance to improve 1.5 lakh hectare saline land in the state. According to official estimates, around 4.25 lakh hectares of agricultural land in Haryana is affected by salinity. The state had proposed to set up an international fruit and vegetable market at Gannaur in Sonipat near Delhi. Around 500 acres of land have already been acquired for this purpose and a ‘Special Purpose Vehicle’ has been set up at an estimated cost of Rs 3,000 crore to complete the project. The state government had urged the Centre to provide appropriate financial and technical support for the same.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had called the Union Budget “visionary, pro poor and future-friendly”. “The special focus on farming, MSMEs and social welfare sectors will in particular help improve the lives of people of Haryana,” he had said.
State BJP spokesperson Raman Malik said, “We had placed our concerns and are glad that taking those concerns into consideration, the Union finance minister had incorporated ideas from the Haryana government with a national prospective and vision. We stand benefitted not just with infrastructure growth but also various schemes that would provide better health, education and cleaner environment. Opposition politicians, while sitting in Delhi and accusing Haryana for pollution, did no capital expenditure to reduce pollution whereas the Centre has made a provision of Rs 4,400 crore in the Union Budget to ensure clean air.”
Asked why the Centre did not accept many of Haryana’s proposals, a senior officer of the state finance department said, “Which proposals it finally accepts is the prerogative of the Centre.”
Haryana CM’s Additional Principal Secretary V Umashankar said, “Many of our proposals and suggestions have been accepted in the Budget. It will reflect in the upcoming state budget also.”
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