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Fund squeeze nightmare keeps Dispur on tenterhooks

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  13 Aug 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Centre has not fixed plan allocation for Assam for 2015-16, Central incentives getting downsized: Ajanta

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, Aug 12: Worried at the non-fixation of plan allocation by the Centre for the State for the current fincial year, the Assam government today said it is apprehensive of further fund cuts by the Central government.

"Officially, we have not received any communication from the Central government regarding slashing of funds. But the way the funds are being released, we are forced to apprehend that there would be further cuts in Central funds," Planning and Development minister Ajanta Neog told the Assembly today.

She said earlier the State used to get a slew of incentives under the Special Category status. "But, even though officially, the Special Category status is not withdrawn, the facilities have been downsized," she said.

Neog also denied allegations that the State had failed to utilize a good chunk of plan funds.

"Generally, even though the Centre fixes a plan allocation, the money released is much less. For example, in the year 2014-15, the plan allocation was Rs 18,000 crore. But, so far, we have received only Rs 12,462 crore. Hence, the percentage of unspent funds appears higher," Neog said. She said for the year 2015-16, the State government had estimated the plan size at Rs 25,406 crore. "But the Central government has not spelt out the plan allocation so far. This uncertainty is keeping us on tenterhooks. We have sent a number of letters, but there has been no response from the Centre so far," she said. Brushing aside opposition attacks on failure to submit utilization certificates, Neog said UCs were not not linked to plan allocation. "Plan allocation funds are non-lapsable. If any amount remains unspent, it is shown as an opening balance in the next year," she added.

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