Assam panchayat election will hamper the release of fund allocated in the budget of 2018-19 for the development of the minority communities in the State since not a single penny has been released till date in the current financial year.
Stating this Mahmood Hasan, director of Directorate of Char Areas Development under Welfare of Minorities and Development department said, “Eight months passed of the current financial year but not a single penny has been released by the government to the Assam Minorities Development Board (AMDB).”
Talking to Northeast Now, director Hasan said, “An amount of Rs 13.2 crore was allocated in the 2018-19 Budget. But, we have not received the fund yet.”
“Though there was a hope of releasing the fund by December this year that too wiped off with the announcement of panchayat election dates,” Hasan said.
He also alleged that the State Finance department does not release funds to the board in time.
“Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma can announce crores of funds for PWD and Health Department ahead of election to gain sympathy. But, he won’t release the funds already allocated in the budget to the Assam Minorities Development Board in time,” Hasan alleged.
Hasan also said, “The board has been facing financial crisis for last few years to implement various developmental schemes meant for the minority people.”
It may be mentioned that in 2017-18 financial year, the State Government had released only Rs 90 lakh out of Rs 12 crore allocated in the Budget.
Besides, Hasan said, “The Centre releases the funds for minorities’ development under central government sponsored schemes in time. But the State Government does not release it in time.”
The State Election Commission announced on Monday that the panchayat election will be held in two phases on December 5 and December 9 next.