Tight corner? Gogoi to dole out more freebies
Run up to 2016
CM targets 76 lakh families, promises to distribute cash & kind totaling Rs 850 crore
BY Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Sept 26: Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who in recent months has been bewailing paucity of Central funds for development works, today announced his government will spend over Rs 850 crore in the next few months to implement a slew of schemes targeting some 76 lakh families in the State.
The beneficiaries will receive aid in form of cash and kind, under various existing and new schemes in Assam, most of which are apparently election-oriented.
Announcing this at a press conference here, Gogoi said, "Altogether, 76 lakh people will be given benefits in various forms under different schemes over the next few months before December."
The benefits will be in the form of cash assistance and rewards in some schemes, whereas various items like mosquito nets, blankets, yarn, tractors, etc. will also be provided under other schemes.
While some of the schemes are existing ones, the CM will roll out about 25 new schemes.
"The schemes will include everything from distribution of yarn to fulfilling the housing needs of homeless people and many others," Gogoi said. He claimed the entire money will come from the State's "own exchequer". Gogoi's announcement, however, comes at a time when opposition parties, including the BJP, have been accusing the Congress-led Assam government of diverting funds meant for developmental projects for paying salaries of employees.
The Chief Minister however refuted the allegation of diversion of developmental funds, saying the State has received Rs 4,354.31 crore from the Centre in the 2015-16 fiscal, of which Rs 3,985 crore have been released to different departments for execution of works. Alleging that the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre has failed the people of the State, Gogoi said the Central government is only providing "lip sympathy" to the State.
Referring to allegations of corruption raised against the State government by the BJP, he questioned, "If there is such fincial mismagement and irregularities going on, why haven't the BJP MLAs and MPs raised it in the Assembly or Parliament?"
Gogoi reiterated the allegation that the Centre has scrapped the special status category to the State and also suspended the North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIPP), thereby depriving the entire region.
He further questioned Prime Minister rendra Modi's failure to get foreign investors for the Northeast during his trips abroad, whereas he has maged to get companies to pledge investment in Gujarat and other some other developed states.