Failure to submit UCs for MSDP scheme led to Central fund cut, admits Sukur Ali
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Dec 10: Letting the cat out of the bag, Minister Sukur Ali today admitted in the assembly that the government has failed to furnish utilization certificates of scheme funds as a result of which the remaining installments were not released by the Centre, in a statement that could embarrass Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi who has all along been blaming the BJP-led government at the Centre for squeezing funds to the State.
The Minorities Welfare minister was responding to a query by AIUDF MLA Rafiqul Islam regarding implementation of the Multi Sectoral Development Programme (MSDP) scheme.
Islam charged that there is no clarity as to where and how the schemes are being implemented under the Centrally-funded programme. He wanted the State government to come clear on the funds received and the expenditure pattern.
Minister Suku Ali was virtually compelled to admit that the State government could not submit utilization certificates of some of the schemes under the MSDP, due to which further funds were not released by the Centre.
In the 11th Plan (which ended in the year 2010-11), the Central government had allocated Rs 703 crore for the State under the programme.
"The Central government had released Rs 525 crore. But as utilization certificates of all the schemes were not submitted, the second installments were not released," Ali admitted.
His admission sparked outrage in the Opposition benches, with many AIUDF legislators launching salvos at the government.
Even Speaker Prab Kumar Gogoi intervened and took a dig at the minister.
"The implementation of the schemes should be transparent. You can't say things like this. If necessary, you should make a committee of legislators and seek its suggestion for implementation of the schemes," the Speaker chided.
The Opposition BJP had been accusing the State government of failing to furnish utilization certifications for various Centrally-funded schemes.
BJP president Amit Shah, while addressing a party workers rally at Dibrugrah recently, had said that the State government has failed miserably in submitting utilization certificates for over Rs 12,000 crore Central funds, which forced the Centre to stop release of further funds.