Assam is one of those ‘begging-bowl’ States that has always had to depend entirely on Central aid for almost all its survival needs. So engrossed are our bureaucrats in their favourite pastime of self-development that there has rarely been any time for them to work for the development of the State. The phrase “step-motherly attitude of the Centre” has been doing its rounds for as long as one can remember. One never gets to hear anything about the incompetence or total disinterest of our own bureaucrats that is the real reason for our total lack of development. Given this scerio, it is heartening to find how the Central funds to the State have increased lately. Assam’s share of Central taxes was Rs 9955.03 crore in 2014-15, Rs 12,429.22 crore in 2015-16, Rs 14,038.64 crore in 2016-17 and Rs 15,976.09 crore in 2017-18. There are also funds allocated for Centrally sponsored schemes and other grants. The totals for the fiscal years have been Rs 20,689.06 crore (2014-15), Rs 21,737.09 crore (2015-16), Rs 22,252.10 crore (2016-17) and Rs 27,940.22 crore (2017-18). The increase for the year 2017-18 has been of the order of 25.56 per cent. These are huge funds. The people of the State have a right to know how judiciously, efficiently and transparently these funds have been deployed. People also have a right to know how competent the users of these funds are at using them for the greatest good of the greatest number. For far too long, the users of these funds have not had to answer awkward questions about misuse of such funds. It is high time people started asking such questions and getting satisfactory replies through the RTI channel.
Enhanced Central Funds