The 15th Finance Commission has recommended devolution of Rs. 19, 309 crore for the year 2020-21 to Himachal Pradesh and the report has been submitted to Union government.

Informing about this, state Industries Minister Bikram Singh said out of this, Rs 11431 crore have been recommended as revenue deficit grant, Rs 6833 as tax devolution, Rs 636 for local bodies and Rs 409 crore to the state Disaster Relief Fund.

“As compared to the 14th Finance Commission, there is an increase of 40.69 percent in revenue deficit grant, 21.05 percent in share of central taxes, 18.51 percent in rural local bodies, 417.50 percent in urban local bodies and 74.04 percent in state disaster relief fund.

The average annual award during 14th Finance Commission was 14,407 crore while this year, the state has been awarded Rs 19,309 crore with overall increase of 34.03 percent,” he added.

“Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has strongly taken up the matter with the Finance Commission for providing more grants in these sectors.

It is due to CM’s efforts that the Commission has enhanced the revenue deficit grant of the state as compared to the 14th Finance Commission,” he said.

He said recommendations of the 15th Finance Commissions would help the state government to give a push to the developmental and infrastructure activities in the state, besides development priorities of the state government.

All sections of the society, especially vulnerable sections will benefit immensely from the grants.

He said that the 15th Finance Commission is yet to give its recommendations for next five years i.e. from 2021-22 to 2025-26. The State Government will continue to pursue the issues of Himachal Pradesh with the Commission, whose final report is expected in October, 2020.

He accused the previous Congress government of not making efforts to get financial assistance for the state and said it was due to this that they failed miserably in getting increased grant from the Finance Commission, resulting developmental activities getting affected badly.

“The 13th Finance Commission only awarded an annual average grant of Rs 4338.4 crore to Himachal when UPA-II government led by Congress was in power at the Centre. Therefore, discrimination was done with the state by the UPA government.

It is a big achievement of the state government and the opposition leaders are giving baseless and misleading statements on various matters just to divert the attention of the people from this accomplishment,” he added.

He asked Congress leaders why they failed to get funds from the Centre and ensuring the development of the state.

Now, when the present state government has succeeded in getting enhanced grant then why the Congress leaders are unhappy and jolted.

“Today there are BJP governments at the Centre and State and this double engine is working in full stream for the development of the state. The people of the state are thankful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for providing liberal financial assistance to the state and putting up an end to the discrimination with Himachal meted out by the UPA government,” he added.