Non-use of Central funds for Panchayati Raj
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Jan 9: A day after Union Minister of State for Panchayati Raj Nihal Chand alleged that the State government failed to spend Rs 299 crore released by the Centre four months back, the State's P&RD minister Rakibul Hussain hit back, saying the Central government was aware of the delay which was due to certain "terms and conditions" laid down for utilizing the fund.
"To utilize the fund, the Central government had laid down certain conditions. First, we had to make a development plan. Second, we had to train the Gaon Panchayat members. Third was a fund magement training for officials. We also had to put in place a model planning manual which is being prepared by the State Institute of Rural Development (SIRD)," Hussain said.
"One needs time to fulfil the conditions. Even the Union minister knows this. Now we are ready as we have fulfilled the conditions," the State minister said, accusing the Union minister of playing politics.
Turning the tables on the Centre, Hussain said under MGNREGA, the State was allocated Rs 1,368 crore in the year 2015-16, but so far only Rs 502 crore has been released.
"We had already submitted the utilization certificates for the released amount one month back. But the Central government has not yet released the remaining amount even though less than three months are left for this fiscal year to end," he alleged.
Moreover, he said, under the Indira Awas Yoja, the Central government has cut down the allotment by 60,000 houses, which will severely hit the poor in the State.
"The BJP government is playing politics with the poor, denying them access to various schemes," Hussain said.
Yesterday, Union Minister of State for Panchayati Raj Nihal Chand on Friday slammed the Tarun Gogoi-led Congress government in the State for "failing" to utilize Central funds.
Chand had said a show-cause notice will be served to the State which must cite reasons for its failure to utilize Rs 299 crore released four months back.