CM meets PM, seeks parity in gas pricing
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Also discusses Sardar Sarovar dam height, BT cotton seed pricing issues
During his courtesy call to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after taking over as the Chief Minister for the fourth time, Narendra Modi Wednesday sought to drive home alleged discrimination against BJP-ruled Gujarat vis-a-vis other states.
Modi expressed his "unhappiness" over alleged discrimination against Gujarat regarding price of gas. He drew the PM's attention towards obstacles in raising the height of Sardar Sarovar Dam and discrimination against his state in funding for expanding canal network for irrigation under Centrally-sponsored Accelerated Irrigation Benefit programme (AIBP).
"Gujarat is not given gas at a price at which Delhi and Mumbai get it. We had gone to the court and won the case. Instead of accepting the order, the Government of India went to the Supreme Court to delay the process. I have expressed my unhappiness to the PM over this," Modi told reporters.
Though Modi had attended the meeting of the National Development Council, chaired by the PM soon after his re-election late last December, it was his first formal meeting with the PM after winning Assembly elections. Earlier, he had called on President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice-President Hamid Ansari.
Modi demanded that the Centre facilitate clearance required for raising the height of Sardar Sarovar dam to 138.68 m, enhancing its water storage capacity, and also facilitate creation of an additional irrigation potential of 6.8 lakh ha and 40 per cent additional power generation.
He raised the issue of the Centre's reluctance in providing assistance under AIBP to spread canal networks in water stressed regions. "As per the Government of India norms, Gujarat should get this. I requested him that Gujarat should get the same benefits that other states get," Modi said.
Modi also raised the issues of regulating BT cotton seed prices, flip-flop in allowing cotton export, non-payment of royalty on crude oil as per statutory provisions, coal allocation to Gujarat from nearer mines of Western Coal fields for power generation and complete waiver on custom duty in the shipbreaking industry.