Rajasthan CM Reminds PM of His Promise to Declare ERCP a National Project

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22 Jun, 19 12:34
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Rajasthan CM Reminds PM of His Promise to Declare ERCP a National Project

(Gopendra Bhatt) Rajasthan Chief Minister Shri Ashok Gehlot presented a strong case for Rajasthan on several important issues of state's development including drinking water, rainwater harvesting, agriculture, drought management, health, etc during the 5th Governing Council Meeting of NITI Ayog held in Delhi on Saturday. He asked the center for providing the Union government's share in the centrally-sponsored schemes on time and demanded support from the center for strengthening Rajasthan's financial management.

ShriGehlot demanded that Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP) should be declared a national project. This project is expected to supply drinking water to 13-districts of Rajasthan and make irrigation water available for an additional 2 lakh hectares of land. The CM reminded Prime Minister ShriNarendraModi that while addressing a public meeting in the state, the latter had promised to consider ERCP sympathetically. ShriGehlot said that it was high time to keep that promise and approve this project at the earliest. He further asked the center to immediately release the first installment of Rs. 370 crore for the year for the National Rural Drinking Water Project.


The Chief Minister said that the Centre-State sharing ratio for Integrated Watershed Management Project was 90:10 up to the year 2013-14 and 2014-15. Later on, the center asked the state governments to bear the entire expenses of 205 projects sanctioned under this project in aforesaid years. He demanded that the Union Government may review this decision and keep the sharing ratio as it was.

ShriGehlot further asked for approval of proposals for external financial aid worth Rs 1454 crore for Phase 3 of Rajiv Gandhi Lift Canal Project. Through this project drinking water would be supplied to 2014 villages and five towns of Jodhpur, Barmer and Pali districts up to the year 2051. He asked for the approval  for another proposal for external financial aid for the linking of Brahmani river to Bisalpur dam for drinking water supply for Jaipur, Ajmer, Tonk and Nagaur districts.

The Chief Minister said that in view of the special geographical conditions of Rajasthan, the SDRF rules should be amended for providing agri-input subsidy and for 12 districts under the erstwhile Desert Development Programme, the eligibility limit for input subsidy of 2 hectares of land should be revised to 5 hectares. ShriGehlot raised the issues of the landless farmers and argued to change the SDRF norms so that along with small and marginal farmers per animal the subsidy may also be given to landless farmers and other cattle breeders. He further asked for an extension in the scope of SDRF norms for providing financial support during drought time also to the cattle housed in gaushalas from pre-drought time.

In the meeting, ShriGehlot spoke of safeguarding the farmers' interests while demanding for immediate removal of hurdles and discrepancies in the PradhanMantri Crop Insurance Scheme. He said that the scheme should be suitably amended to give real-time benefit to the farmers. He further demanded that the limit of procurement of pulses and oilseeds should be extended from 25% of total production to 40%. Also, the daily limit on procurement should also be revised from 25 quintals to 40 quintals per farmer. Essential Commodities Act -1955 should be suitably amended after consulting the state governments, he added.

The CM drew the attention of NITI Ayog to some long-pending rail projects in Rajasthan. He said that for special rail projects, the cost of land acquisition should be borne by the states, while the Centre should take responsibility of the rest of the cost of the project. On this basis, Ratlam-Dungarpur via Banswara railway line should be initiated, he added. He further requested that Dholpur-Sarmathura broad-gauge line should be started soon along with an extension of the route to Gangapur City. Similarly, Ajmer-SawaiMadhopur via Tonk railway line work should also be started, he said.


ShriGehlot said that presently available health insurance scheme in the state was benefitting about 1 crore families identified under the NFSA, while the Ayushman-Bharat Yojna would provide benefit to merely 59.71 lakh families as per the 2011 census. Thus, implementing the AyushmaanYojna would deprive health insurance cover to about 40 lakh families. He suggested that for its the health insurance scheme, the center should keep NFSA families as the criteria instead of the 2011 census.


The CM said that the Union Ministries should remove various procedural hurdles in releasing the funds for the centrally-sponsored schemes. He further requested for strengthening the federal structure of the country by providing more rights to the states in the utilization of funds provided by the center.


Chief Minister ShriGehlot also highlighted the state's achievements. He informed the gathering that recently the state government framed a law to provide an exemption from any kind of permission for the first three years to the MSME units. This would provide a favorable environment to the entrepreneurs in Rajasthan. He suggested that the Union Government should also give such exemption to the entrepreneurs from the central laws. Chief Secretary Shri DB Gupta was also present in the meeting.









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