The opposition Congress asked the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government not to’ fear’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi in pursuing with the centre for its entitlements and demanded that the Assembly should pass a resolution to urge the centre to immediately release funds in respect of NEC and NLCPR so that state is not deprived of entitlements.
Raising the issue in Assembly during a discussion on the overall development in the state and the need to seek more financial assistance from the centre and earmark a budget provision for all the 11 districts in the state, leader of the Opposition Mukul Sangma alleged that a “big manipulator” is also sitting in Delhi to deprive states in the Northeast from getting funds.
He lashed out at the BJP-led NDA government at the centre for allegedly withholding funds supposed to be transferred through schemes to the state.
“I am afraid since the manner in which the resources being transferred by the Central government are depriving the state and the people. Not only Meghalaya but in the whole Northeast,” Mukul Sangma said
Mukul Sangma asked chief minister Conrad K Sangma to also compare the difference of financial assistance received from the centre in the past and now.
“The centre is not forthcoming and the money is not coming because even entitlements of the state are being withheld. It is agonizing, painful, and unacceptable for small state like Meghalaya which depends on its minimum resources. We have to fight for our entitlements,” he said.
The Opposition leader pointed out that there was no momentum in as far as getting the centre’s support on road projects including the SARDP (North East) that had brought change to the road network.
He said that from 2014 nothing was sanctioned in respect to roads and urged the state government to get more funds.
He also pointed out that NEC schemes already sanctioned and first installment released, but the implementation was put on hold for want of compliance with NEC instructions.
“Why has the NEC instructed to put on hold these projects when the government had identified them based on priorities. What is going to happen to these projects? When projects are withheld, funds cannot be utilized. When the state government is not able to submit utilization certificates, the NEC also cannot release further funds,” he said.
On DoNER ministry and the status of projects in respect of NEC, the Congress leader alleged that a big manipulator is sitting in Delhi to deprive the state from getting funds.
“In the name of changing the guidelines, they (centre) stopped sanctions until existing projects get completed. When will the projects be completed, when 2019 elections is knocking the door? The government of India has adopted a tactic how to deprive the state. I have a caution because I could see and read between lines about the actual intent. We are stepping into October but till now, clarity about NEC, NLCPR is not forthcoming. After December, they will be in a no sanction mode,” he said.
Sangma demanded that the House should pass a resolution to urge the centre to immediately release funds in respect of NEC or NLCPR to ensure that state is not deprived.
Stating that the state government is keeping silence, Mukul asked the MDA government not to feel scared of Modi. “Let us not …because we are representing the people and the state. The state is in dire need of funds and every single paisa that comes will have impact, and create a turnaround for the state,” he said.