BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, Feb 29: Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said that the Union Budget 2016-17 has been a great disappointment as it has virtually nothing for Assam and the Northeast as a whole.
In a statement to the media, Gogoi said that the allocation to the Northeast by Rs 4,000 crore has been minimal against the backdrop of flurry of promises made by Central Ministers, including the Prime Minister amounting to tens of thousands of crores. “The frequent visits of Central Ministers, including Prime Minister to Assam have been primarily aimed at covering the failure of the Central Government and it has indulged in show business and fake assurances. The Budget is a testimony to all this,” he said on Monday.
Gogoi said he had raised a number of important issues in a letter to Union Minister for Fince Arun Jaitley for inclusion during the formulation of the Budget. “I had raised a number of important issues in a letter to FM Jaitley that included restoration of Special Category Status and NEIIP, special packages for flood and erosion, development of MSME sector, setting up of Brahmaputra Valley River Basin Authority, special packages for development councils, tea tribes and ex-tea tribes and protection of one-horned Rhino. But everything fell on deaf ears.”
Gogoi said that the Budget has nothing for the flood and erosion problem of Assam. “Though the State has been plagued with this alarming erosion problem and has so far lost permanently 4.27 lakh hectare, the Central Government has announced nothing for the State,” he added.
The Chief Minister said the Budget has not fully restored the earlier funding pattern to 90:10 despite stiff protests from the Northeastern States. Gogoi said that the budget has poured cold water on the high hopes and expectations of BTC Chief Hagrama Mohilary by announcing only Rs 100 crore for BTC. BPF had sought Rs 1000 crore package from the Centre.