In view of its difficult geography; also demands package for drinking water

The Rajasthan government on Sunday sought special status for the State in view of its difficult geography and a package for drinking water considering the shortage caused by recurrent droughts, scanty and irregular rainfall. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot placed the demands before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here.

Dr. Singh addressed a meeting of the State Council of Ministers at the Raj Bhavan after inaugurating the 10th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas conclave. He observed that Rajasthan was one of the leading States with an “impeccable track record” of having achieved the financial parameters as well as the targets of the 11th Five-Year Plan.Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh and Planning Commission's Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia attended the meeting. According to an official release, Dr. Singh assured the State government that the Centre would consider the demands.The Prime Minister observed that despite its peculiar geographical and natural conditions, Rajasthan had made a remarkable progress in infrastructure development, health care services, road development, energy and the social sector. The State had also made good progress in bringing the minority communities to the mainstream, he said.

Chief Secretary S. Ahmed made a presentation on the government's flagship schemes and initiatives for inclusive growth and good governance while maintaining transparency.