Rejecting Prime Minister Narendra Modi's claims of releasing more funds to Himachal Pradesh during NDA's rule, the state government today claimed the Centre had instead effected "cutbacks" in funds and discontinued various Centrally-sponsored schemes. Earlier in the day, Modi had, during his address to a rally in Mandi, claimed that Himachal Pradesh was getting more funds from the Centre than earlier and that the Virbhadra Singh's government should "give account of its work". The state government however rejected the Prime Minister's claims saying that Himachal Pradesh had instead "grossly suffered under the NDA government due to abolition of the Planning Commission". "Himachal Pradesh has been deprived of funds which used to flow from Planning Commission. The state government used to receive Normal Central Assistance (NCA), Special Central Assistance and Special Plan Assistance(SPA)totaling about Rs 3000 crore per annum, which was stopped from 2015-16 onwards," the state government said in a release issued here. "With abolition of Planning Commission, an important source of funding has totally dried up for a revenue deficit State like Himachal Pradesh. Himachal Pradesh has lost over Rs 6500 crore on this account in last two years," it said. The release further said discontinuation of various Centrally-sponsored schemes, like Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF) and National e-Governance Programme had hit the state's finances hard. "Hundreds of crores of Central assistance has been denied under these schemes which have affected several development schemes in Chamba and Sirmour districts (due to stopping of BRGF) and Una, Kangra, Mandi and Hamirpur districts due to reduced funding under AIBP& FMP. "Even the devolution of Central Taxes to the states have declined in the last two years causing a loss of about Rs 1500 crore.
The cumulative impact of reduced central funding in five years from 2015 to 2020 is expected to be over Rs 20,000 crore," it said. Modi had claimed that Himachal Pradesh has been getting Rs 72,000 crore following the implementation of the 16th Finance Commission report instead of Rs 21,000 crore allocated earlier.
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