Saturday, July 24, 2010

Centre encroaching on States\' freedom: Achuthanandan

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Mounting a searing attack on the Centre for its diverse policies, Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan has accused it of encroachment on States freedom.

Speaking at the National Development Council (NDC) meeting in New Delhi on Saturday, the Chief Minister alleged that the Union government was making States �bonded carriers of Centrally-devised schemes and refusing clearance for projects of interest to the State governments if these were not in tune with Central policies. While the former amounted to encroachment on the States freedom and a pre-emption of their Plan resources, the latter smacked of arbitrariness, Mr. Achuthanandan said.

The Chief Minister came down heavily on the Centre for its new practice of launching Centrally-sponsored schemes forcing the States to fall in line with its conditions and later suddenly deciding to drop or modify the schemes or raise the States share in financing such schemes. �The State governments, having got involved in a scheme in whose formulation they had no say in the first place, are then made responsible for it to greater degrees at the whim of the Centre, he said and cited the changes being effected in the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan and the National Rural Health Mission as instances in point. In both the cases, the Centre had pushed up the States share in funding, placing a heavy pressure on their Plan resources, he pointed out.

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