Assam’s Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi, says the North Eastern Region Development Ministry (DoNER) should issue a White Paper on release of funds to the North Eastern States and the non-submission of Utilisation Certificates by the States.
The Chief Minister issued a statement asking Union Minister of State for DoNER, Jitendra Singh, to avoid double speak by asking the North Eastern States to expedite distribution of funds and to submit the Utilisation Certificates on time, because they have not been. He also blamed the Ministry of Finance for non-release of Rs 900 crore to DoNER, which should have provided funds for Assam.
Development of North Eastern Region
“DoNER has been created exclusively for the development of the North East region. But the very purpose has been defeated as fund flow from DoNER has slowed down during the last two fiscals,” Gogoi said.
Gogoi said utilisation of Non Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) was 83.37 per cent (from 1998-99 to 2015-16). Of the Rs 2629.50 crore released under NLCPR, the State Government has submitted Utilisation Certificates amounting to Rs 2192.40 crore.
Development Project Status
Speaking about the projects undertaken, of 619 sanctioned projects, 373 are complete and 246 are still in progress. NEC funded 66 schemes, with Rs 41196.90 lakh released. The state submitted Utilisation Certificates worth Rs 30814.72 lakh as at September 2015.
“The slowing down of fund flow from DoNER coupled with the change in funding patterns and the withdrawal of Special Category Status by the present dispensation at the Centre have adversely affected the pace of development in the region as a whole. The indifferent approach of the Centre is tantamount to a grave injustice to the people of the North East,” Gogoi said.