BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, February 14: After rendra Modi came to power at the Centre, the Northeastern States including Assam, have received greater importance from the Central government than the UPA did earlier.
In particular, the present Central government is keeping ministers and top bureaucrats of the State government on their toes, keeping tabs on activities carried out by their departments. Due to pressure from the Central government, leisure hours have shrunk; previously somnolent government departments are now scurrying with greater workloads.
Most of the Union ministers who visited Assam recently, have made State departments accountable for non-submission of fund utilization certificates, sternly asking them to submit the same timely. Some of the Union ministers took the Gogoi government to task for the lagging pace of development of the State.
In the past 15 days or so, 12 Union ministers came to Assam and took stock of the work of government departments.
Union Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Nihal Chand, who visited Assam recently, criticized Dispur for not implementing the MGNREGA properly in the State. Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh upbraided the State government for not doing enough for the development of agriculture in Assam.
Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Friday here said that there were anomalies in the public distribution system (PDS) in Assam, squarely putting the onus of keeping the system transparent on the State government. He sternly asked the State government to rectify problems dogging the PDS.
The list of such complaints by the Central government against the State is getting longer with each passing day.
Prime Minister rendra Modi, a practitioner of realpolitik to the hilt, understands that he cannot be a good shepherd until he keeps a close eye on all his sheep.
However, a section in the ruling Congress in the State complain that though several Union ministers visited the State recently, none of them announced new schemes for the State. However, political observers point out that it does not serve any purpose to announce new schemes unless the ongoing schemes are monitored and concerned departments are pulled up for non-submission of utilization certificates. The present NDA government at the Centre is doing precisely that, much to the discomfiture of the Tarun Gogoi government.