SPECIAL STATUS & FUNDING FOR ASSAM
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Dec 8: Fuming at the acute fund crunch in the State, the Assam Assembly today unimously passed a resolution to exert pressure on the Centre for restoration of Special Status and special funding pattern to the State. The House also decided to send an all-party assembly delegation to pressurize Prime Minister rendra Modi not to strip the State of its Special Status and special funding pattern.
Planning and Development (P&D) Minister Ajanta Neog laid the resolution in the House today, saying: “The communications we’ve received from the Centre so far have made it crystal clear that it has deleted a number of Centrally-sponsored schemes for Assam. Some hundred per cent Centrally-sponsored schemes have also been converted to funding patterns like 90:10, 80:20 and 50:50. This apart, the Special Status, which Assam has been enjoying over the years, is quite obscure now with the Centre stopping funding under the Normal Central Assistance (NCA), Untied NCA etc., that are meant for Special Category States. The Centre maintains that it has to deduct the Central shares in the funding pattern as it has increased the Fince Commission’s award to Assam to 40 per cent from 30 per cent earlier. But their assertion lacks clarity.”
Taking part in the discussion, former minister Pradyut Bordoloi said: “As a peripheral state in the Northeast, Assam has been enjoying Special Status since 1969. However, the present BJP-led government at the Centre is out to strip the State of this status. This is not all. The rendra Modi government has also withdrawn the North East Industrial and Infrastructure Policy (NEIIP) even as it speaks loud on the Act East policy. In fiscal 2014-15, the Centre hinted that it would pump in Rs 18,000 crore, but released only 12,000 crore.”
Keshab Mahanta of the AGP said: “We took such resolutions earlier too, but to little avail. We need to send an all-party Assembly delegation to put pressure on the Prime Minister to restore the Special Status and the special funding pattern to Assam.”
The House then unimously decided to send an all-party assembly delegation to New Delhi.