Rs 159.74 cr for backward classes lying unutilized
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, February 16: After rendra Modi-led BJP took over the reins of power at the Centre, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi’s oft-repeated grouse is that New Delhi has been drastically curtailing Central funds allocated to the State for different development programmes.
However, Gogoi’s allegations against the Central government do not hold water. The truth is that most of the State government departments fail to utilize Central funds properly and in time. On most occasions, several departments even fail to submit their fund utilization certificates to the Central government.
The issue of non-utilization of full Central funds and non-submission of fund utilization certificate have caught the attention of all the Union ministers who visited the State recently. They all rapped the Gogoi government for this serious lapse.
But instead of accepting his government’s fault and putting pressure on the departments to adhere to established rules and proper courses of action, Chief Minister Gogoi said that the Union ministers were visiting the State to indulge in partisan politics.
For example, the Central government releases funds to Assam every fincial year for the development of backward class people. But a large chunk of the released funds is not fully utilized by the concerned State department. This has hampered the development of backward class people in the State.
Of the released Central funds in the fincial years 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 for the development of backward classes in Assam, Rs 159.74 crore remains unutilized. In the fincial year 2011-12, Rs 196.17 crore was released by the Central government to the State, of which Rs 60.18 crore remains unutilized. In the fincial year 2012-13, Rs 141.21 crore was released but Rs 40.95 crore remains unutilized; while in the fincial year 2013-14, Rs 175.70 crore was released and Rs 57.98 crore remains unutilized.
Although Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi never fails to boast about the so-called ‘development’ of the State during the 15 years he has been at the helm, the non-utilization of full Central funds by various departments under his watch, reveals the actual status of development in the State, or rather the development it has missed.