By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Jan 28: Alleging that BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma is misleading the people, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today reiterated his charge that the Central government has drastically cut developmental funds and maintained that Union budgetary allocations to the State for central schemes have come down since the BJP-led NDA government came to power.
Addressing a press conference here, Gogoi said funding pattern of 90:10 for central schemes was yet to be restored and Special Category status to eight NE states and two others has also remained curtailed.
He refuted the allegation leveled by former Congress minister and BJP leader Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma, quoting a State government letter of February 2015, that Central allocation has remained the same for the State.
Gogoi maintained that the Planning and Development Department letter quoted by Sarma was issued in February last year for preparation of sectoral budget of the State Annual Plan 2015-16 and the funding pattern of the centrally sponsored schemes (CSS) shown in the letter was based on the previous year's funding pattern of the Central government.
However, the Union budget, which was passed two months later (April 2015), changed the funding pattern completely to 50:50, which made the Chief Minister take up the matter at the highest levels. Subsequently, a sub-group of CMs was constituted and as per its recommendations, some changes were made but even today, the funding pattern has not been completely restored to the status of 2014-15, Gogoi said.
As per current funding status, four schemes which were 100 per cent Centrally funded earlier are now 90:10; two schemes which were earlier 100 per cent Centrally funded have become 80:20 and eight schemes which were earlier 90:10 have become 80:20.
The CM once again said it is imperative for restoration of previous funding pattern for the State to continue its accelerated growth.
Asked about the defamation suits threatened by Himanta Biswa Sarma and Badruddin Ajmal, Gogoi quipped, "I don't have so much money…but I am not afraid of such cases."