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Harish Rawat accuses centre of 'quietly' withdrawing special status from Uttarakhand

Dehradun : Chief Minister Harish Rawat today accused the BJP government at the Centre of "quietly" withdrawing the special category status from Uttarakhand and said the state has now demanded special economic incentives in recognition
harish rawat accuses centre of quietly...
PTI 08 Aug 2015, 17:03:53 PM IST

Dehradun : Chief Minister Harish Rawat today accused the BJP government at the Centre of "quietly" withdrawing the special category status from Uttarakhand and said the state has now demanded special economic incentives in recognition of its environment conservation efforts.

"It is surprising that the special category status which was earned by the state after a prolonged struggle has been quietly snatched away from it and no one is talking about it," he said addressing a meeting of the national executive of the Federation of PTIEmployees' Unions here.

"Instead of giving the border state economic incentives in recognition of what it is doing in the field of environment protection and its strategic importance, its special category status has been quietly withdrawn," he said.

If developing countries like India can rightfully demand economic incentives from the developed world to minimise carbon emissions, Uttarakhand should also get its due share in terms of economic incentives in return for the amount of oxygen it produces due to its 60-65 per cent green cover, he said.

The Chief Minister said at least 10 per cent of the funds that India receives from foreign countries to cut down carbon emissions should be directed to the hill state for its valuable contribution to environment protection.

Noting that Uttarakhand is a small state where systems and institutions are still evolving, Rawat said everyone asks the hill state "not to do this and not to do that. No one tells us what is it that we should do."

"The famous char dhams are located in our state. Most of the major rivers of the country originate here.We are told we should not use our water resources injudiciously. But, would anyone also tell us what we should do?" he said.

Taking a dig at the Narendra Modi Government, he said "putting Make in India label on things would not help. For this India will have to take major steps on a large scale".

He said the crisis in Greece had put brakes on the forward march of China otherwise it would have marched far ahead of India.

"We should take advantage of the situation and increase our production activities," he said.

Rawat also accused the Modi government of changing the development agenda and warned it of the pitfalls in a multi-party democracy like India.

"Governments keep coming and going in a multi-party democracy like ours. Changing the development agenda of the country with every political transformation does not augur well for democracy," he said.

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