No fund crunch in country for execution of welfare projects

The Centre is not discriminating against any State in fund allocation and has been treating all States on par, said Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Saturday.

“We have been extending financial assistance for the implementation of various people-oriented development and welfare programmes to all States alike. No one in Tamil Nadu can accuse the Centre that it is acting in a partial manner,” Mr. Chidambaram said while addressing a public meeting in connection with Kamaraj birth anniversary celebration here.

Stating that the Centre had been liberal in sanctioning assistance to Tamil Nadu, Mr. Chidambaram said that it sanctioned Rs.7,875 crore to the State for the implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme for the five-year period from 2007-2012.

For the next five years, the Centre had allotted Rs. 12,987 crore to the same scheme for Tamil Nadu. Under the 12 Finance Commission, Tamil Nadu was sanctioned Rs.36,688 crore for implementation of various projects for the period 2005-10. Under the 13 Finance Commission, Tamil Nadu was sanctioned a whopping Rs. 83,437 crore for the next five year period which was more than double the amount given earlier.

Mr. Chidambaram said there was no fund crunch in the country for the implementation of welfare and developmental projects. Every district in the country was getting adequate funds now which could not be imagined years ago. When former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi introduced the Panchayat Raj scheme, each panchayat was sanctioned only Rs.1lakh. But now, every panchayat is getting Rs.30 lakh to Rs.40 lakh for implementation of projects.

What we should do is take sincere initiatives to monitor the implementation of the schemes so that the fund allotted is spent for the right purpose. Mr. Chidambaram categorically stated that the Centre would not tolerate any form of extremism. The Centre will deal with an iron hand to put down all sorts of extremism, he said.

Referring to the recent arrest of Abu Jundal, one of the key conspirators in the Mumbai terror attack case, Mr. Chidambaram said a small clue obtained by the intelligence agencies led to his arrest within one and half years.

Some more conspirators had to be apprehended. The Centre will not leave any stone unturned and bring all culprits to book, he asserted. Referring to the achievements of the UPA government, he said no communal clash was witnessed in the country in the last eight years.

Whenever any information was received on possible clash, we rushed Rapid Action Force personnel in aeroplanes instantly and saw to it that it was thwarted, he said.