From our correspondent
Itagar, May 29: Aruchal Pradesh Chief Minister bam Tuki has reiterated that the Center continue to treat Aruchal Pradesh as a Special Category state in view of its developmental backwardness, low resource base, late entry into the developmental process, geographical parameters, cost of delivery services and strategic importance.
Speaking during the Consultation meeting on ratiolization of Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) of the NITI Aayog Sub Group of Chief Ministers at Bhopal on Thursday, the chief mnister pointed that all Special Category states, which are mostly resource crunch, the gain in the new regime of fund flow is not so much as in case of other General Category states, an official communiqué informed here on Friday.
This is mainly due to the fact that the allocations like, NCA, SCA, SPA and few CSSs which have been delinked from the Plan allocation used to constitute a major portion (about 40%) of the total Central Assistance to the state during 2014-15, Tuki said. Advocating that NCA, SPA and SCA may be continued as present Tuki said that in order to continue to pursue the policy of bringing the backward states at par with the other developed states of the country, the Center must ensure special dispensation in some form or other for these states to cope up with the tiol development process. “There should be proper arrangement for transition to new system of funding and implementation of all CSS at least for two years to avoid abrupt policy and implementation changes and break down of ongoing projects at the state level so that all states can adopt the new system from the next Plan period,” he said and suggested a transitory formula to help the special category states to tide over the backlog with the abolition of SPA/NCA/ACA.
The chief minister expressed concern that Plan budget of 2015-16 has been reduced to Rs 4.65 lakh crores from Rs 5.75 lakh crores of 2014-15 whereas the general trend is of annual increase in Plan funds. “This will have far reaching implication in the development of the states in general and the tion as a whole,” he said.
Further the Central Assistance to State Plans has been reduced from Rs 3.38 Lakh Crore in 2014-15 to Rs 2.04 Lakh Crores in 2015-16, whereas during the same period the Central Sector Plan fund has increased from Rs 2.36 Lakh Crore to Rs 2.60 Lakh Crores. He urged the members to take note of this fact and request the Union Government to increase the allocation in the State Sector.
Taking into consideration the needs of the state government, Tuki suggested that funds under CSS may be released in two equal installments – the first in May and the second in November for timely implementation of schemes. Also that all Centrally Sponsored Schemes to be implemented in the State should either be fully funded by the Union Government or should be funded at 90: 10 ratio by the Centre and State.
He further suggested that innovative schemes launched by states based on best practices should be supported by the Center on 50:50 basis as joint venture till their adoption by all states if considered to be implemented as CSS when the funding pattern can be changed with higher central allocation. Another important suggestion put forth by the Chief Minister was that third party monitoring be introduced for all CSS for proper implementation and the same should be coordited by NITI Aayog to maintain uniformity. Altertively, the State Government can also undertake third party monitoring through Agencies empanelled by NITI Aayog.
“I deem it important to reiterate that due to the transition, my state is yet to receive the funds for this year and this has adversely impacted the State Finces and we were constraint to avail the ways and means advance and over draft facilities from the Reserve Bank of India. I hope that arrangements are urgently made for fund release without waiting for filization of the report,” Tuki added. The Consultation of the Sub-Group, third in the series of consultations, was chaired by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan, who is the Chairman of the Sub-Group, and attended by member Chief Ministers of various states.
The fil meeting of the NITI Aayog Sub-Group of Chief Ministers on Ratiolization of Centrally Sponsored Schemes is slated to be held on Jun 13 next after which the Sub-Group would submit its recommendations, the communiqué added.