Kamahi Devi (Hoshiarpur): With prospect of drought-like situation looming large, the Centre should give special economic package to all the food producing states, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Saturday said.

"Due to the deficit rainfall an emergency like situation has been created in the food producing states of the country as they were not able to cope up with the demand of electricity in the ongoing paddy season," Badal said.

In this hour of crisis the Union government must extend a helping hand to the food producing states to bail them out of the grave crisis, he said.

The Chief Minister was talking to the media persons here on the sidelines of the second day of his Sangat Darshan program during tour of the Dasuya Assembly seat.

He said that Punjab was also facing a similar crisis due to which he had already met the Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde in New Delhi a few days back and had asked him to allocate 1,000 MW of more power to the state from the central pool.

Concerned over the "weakening" federal structure of the country, the Chief Minister lamented that due to the Union government's policy of excessive centralisation most of the states of the county were facing severe financial crisis.

"It was a stark reality that the successive Congress-led governments at the Centre had constantly usurped the powers of the state governments reducing them to beggars who were at the mercy of the Union government for funds to ensure development in their respective states," the veteran Akali leader alleged.

Reiterating his demand that the Union government must disburse the Central grants in proportion to the share of taxes collected from the states, Badal said that it was unfortunate that the Centre had been constantly discriminating the states in devolution of Central funds.

The CM said it was a well known fact that 68 percent of taxes collected by the Centre from the states were retained by Union and 32 percent devolved upon the states.

However, he said that the need of the hour was that states should be given more share from these taxes because it would provide the required fillip for the development of the states.

"By weakening the Federal structure of the country Government of India was not acting as a 'National Government' because due to its policies the country was afflicted with plenty of social maladies," added Badal.

(Agencies)

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