Congress insulting NDA’s genuine efforts to empower states: BJP

New Delhi, June 9 (IANS) The BJP on Tuesday termed Congress’s charge of discrimination by the central government against its ruled states “an insult” to the NDA regime’s “genuine efforts” to empower the states.

“This is not only unfortunate but also an insult to the genuine efforts of National Democratic Alliance government to truly empower the states,” Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters here.

He further added that it is true that outlay of centrally-sponsored plans has been reduced, but this was a necessary step after devolving extra funds to the states, in order to keep the fiscal deficit in check.

Earlier in the day, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said that in the guise of giving more untied funds to states, the central government has ended up imposing additional burdens on all of them.

Alleging Congress leadership was misguiding the public by saying that their states would face a loss due to decreased plan transfers, Prasad asserted that the schemes which have their outlay reduced are those which were unproductive, having huge leakages and prone to corruption.

But the reduction in outlay of centrally-sponsored schemes is marginal when compared to the increased devolution of funds, he added.

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