Dear Shri. Arun Jaitleyji,
I appreciate the efforts of the Government of India to create additional irrigation potential by launching the scheme for 99 priority – Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme projects under PMKSY. I would like to inform you that my Government has already given concurrence for the inclusion of Muvattupuzha Valley Irrigation Project (MVIP) and Karapuzha Irrigation Project (KRP) in Kerala among the 99 priority AIBP projects. We have also communicated our project costs to the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (MoWR, RD & GR), Government of India.
We are, however, examining the need to sign the tripartite Memorandum of Agreement with Government of India and NABARD for availing funding from NABARD to service the State Share for the two priority projects in Kerala. You will appreciate that the State is required to avail NABARD funding for the priority AIBP projects from within its overall borrowing limit which reduces our flexibility in planning for targeted rural infrastructure development. I would request for this funding to be availed over and above the States’ borrowing limit.
In the meantime, I would like to assure you that the State is intensively focusing in not merely increasing irrigation potential through its major projects, including the above mentioned priority AIBP projects, but also through improved management of water resources and we look forward to PMKSY as a positive intervention therein. I would like to bring to your notice that currently there is far too much focus on the AIBP component of PMKSY without concomitant stress on other equally important components like surface and ground minor irrigation, creation and rejuvenation of traditional water storage systems and ground water development. Moreover, the eligibility norms for availing assistance under some of these components, including among others -RRR of water bodies and surface and ground minor irrigation, put Kerala at a major disadvantage owing to peculiarities of its terrain, agro -ecological zones and forest cover. We have highlighted these issues to the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India, but are yet to arrive at a resolution of the same. I request your kind intervention towards allowing relaxation of norms in availing Central Assistance for such schemes, taking into consideration local conditions, else the ambitious and commendable goals of PMKSY cannot be achieved to their fullest potential.
I would also like to inform you that the state has launched the ’Haritha Keralam Mission’ that envisages comprehensive natural resources management, including management of water resources aimed at rejuvenating and restoring our water resources. I believe the Haritha Keralam Mission (HKM) can transform rural development. Ensuring complementarities in PMKSY and HKM will go a long way in catalyzing this transformation. I would therefore request Government of India to be flexible in supporting State Governments taking into consideration local needs. I assure you our full cooperation in achieving the goals under PMKSY.
Shri. Arun Jaitley
Hon’ble Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs,
Government of India,
Room No 134, North Block,