Special State status
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Aug 13: The Assam government on Thursday brought a resolution in the Assembly seeking restoration of the Special Category status of the State.
This is the second time that such a resolution has been brought by the State government, the first being on March 4 last.
Bringing the resolution, Planning and Development minister Ajanta Neog said the previous resolution was sent to the Central government, but even after that, no measures were taken to retain the Special Category status of Assam.
"As such, the House resolves that the State government will communicate with the Central government and impress upon it to restore the funding pattern of 90:10," the resolution, passed unimously in the House, said.
Before supporting the resolution, Opposition MLA Manoranjan Das of the BJP wanted to know whether the Chief Minister had taken up the matter with the Prime Minister.
"I have spoken to the Prime Minister twice. I have also discussed it with the Fince Minister. They had assured to look into it, but nothing has happened so far. Twelve schemes have been deinked from Central support. In nine schemes, the funding pattern has been changed from 90:10 to 50:50," Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said in response.
He said Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar had submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister on behalf of all NE CMs for restoration of Special Category status to the Northeast states. "In spite of repeated communications, nothing has changed," he claimed.
Gogoi, however, admitted that the Central government has slashed funds for all states - irrespective of the party ruling them. "It is not that funds have been cut only for Congress-ruled states. Some of the BJP-ruled states are also facing problems due to the curtailing of Central funds," Gogoi said.