Central Fund Squeeze
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, July 7: Taking his conflict with the Central government up by another notch, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has now decided to come out with a White Paper to show by comparison the Central funding to Assam by the BJP-led NDA government and its predecessor, the Congress-led UPA government. In his bid to expose the Centre’s purported fund squeeze, Gogoi has also challenged the rendra Modi government to bring out a White Paper if it has anything against Dispur on the use of Central funds.
Talking to newsmen in the city today, the Chief Minister said: “Union ministers visit Assam frequently nowadays, and what they speak here is quite different from the ground reality. The Centre has replaced the Planning Commission with NITI Ayog and changed the funding pattern as well. We, however, haven’t seen anything positive in the new funding pattern. All the States are suffering now.”
Gogoi further said: “During the floods in 2014-15 in Assam, a Central team came and assessed the damage at Rs 414 crore. The Government of India reduced the amount to Rs 387 crore and approved it. However, we’re yet to get a single paisa even today.”
“Likewise, under the DoNER Ministry in the NEC head, our allocation for 2014-15 was Rs 312 crore, but the Centre released only Rs 71 crore. In fiscal 2015-16 too, our allocation under the NEC head is Rs 312 crore. However, so far only Rs 10 crore has been released,” Gogoi said, adding: “Our allocation under the Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) for fiscal 2015-16 is Rs 289 crore. However, not a single paisa has been released as yet. I have to raise my voice against all these injustices. I am not a beggar. I am a man with self-respect. The Centre has to give us our dues.”
On the socio-economic census report, Gogoi said, “Assam has been lagging behind on many fronts. In some fronts, Assam is ahead of others. In order to see on what fronts Assam is lagging behind and why, I have formed a committee. Special and proper measures have to be taken to make people of the State keep pace with their counterparts elsewhere in the country.”