FROM A CORRESPONDENT
SHILLONG, January 2: Meghalaya Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma today urged the Centre to enhance the annual allocation of the North Eastern Council (NEC).
Addressing the 63rd plery meeting of the NEC held here today, Dr Sangma said that the projected outlay for the Twelfth Five Year (2012–17) was Rs 13027.38 crores and the approved outlay conveyed by the Planning Commission was Rs 6108 crore only.
“While this itself was idequate, to make matters worse, the actual allocation since 2012–13 has been static at Rs 770 crore reflecting a decline in real terms,” the Meghalaya Chief Minister said. Dr Sangma also said that releases have been unusually slow this year and that there is a large bank of sanctions which need to be acted upon quickly, so that cost escalation is avoided.
According to him as states, the absorption capacity has gone up considerably and now they are in a much better position to complete projects much faster, if funds are released in time.
Dr Sangma suggested an online system be developed through which all documents could be uploaded and releases made immediately. On the 10 percent gross budgetary support Dr Sangma informned the DoNER minister that substantial amount of funds have accumulated in the non–lapsable pool reflecting unspent balances by Union Ministries. The Chief Minister said that allocation from this pool to the North–East however, is regulated by the yearly budget ceilings fixed for DoNER by the Ministry of Fince.
He also proposed that a portion of this fund should also be placed at the disposal of NEC for funding their activities. Meanwhile, Dr Sangma also urged the DoNER ministry to help the state in certain specific schemes.