Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank on Wednesday sought an annual green bonus of Rs 1000 crore from the Centre in lieu of the nearly Rs 40,000 crore worth ecological services provided by the forests of the State to the country.
The green bonus will help in conserving the forest cover as well as partly compensate the hardships faced by people for lack of sufficient development avenues that were blocked by the Forest Conservation Act, Mr Nishank said.
The Chief Minister wondered why the Centre was silent on the issue of green bonus despite an assurance from the Union Forests and Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh.
Mr Nishank was critical of the Centre for not giving it funds in the ratio of 90:10 as applicable to special category States. Uttarakhand continues to get funds under most Central schemes in the ratio of 67:33 which hinted at the discriminatory attitude of the Congress-led UPA Government towards the BJP-ruled States He also sought a separate policy for hill States and a separate ministry to deal with them. This would help tide over the large number of problems coming in the way of getting development projects cleared under rules that were plains-centric, he said.