New Funding Pattern cost Assam over Rs.7,000 crore: Gogoi

Guwahati, May 15 (IANS): The central government’s delinking of several centrally-sponsored schemes and changing the funding pattern in some of them has cost Assam over Rs.7,000 crore in the 2015-16 fiscal, said Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Friday.

Gogoi said this will have negative impact on poor and backward states like Assam. “They have already reduced the funding and are trying to reduce it further. This will affect states like ours. Most of the eastern states have objected to this and I have taken up the matter with the prime minister,” Gogoi told a press conference here.

“The central government is trying to term it as an effort to make the performance competitive. How can Assam compete with other developed states like Gujarat or Maharastra? We have been a backward state since Independence,” said Gogoi.

He further said that this is the reason why Assam and other northeastern states were accorded the status of special category states.  “One must first reduce the imbalance and then try to make the performance competitive,” he said.

Gogoi said the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had made the funding pattern for Assam as 90:10 (Centre bears 90 percent of cost, the state government only 10 percent).

“We have been receiving funding as 90:10 all these years when UPA government was in power. However, the NDA government, after coming to power, delinked some of the schemes and has changed the funding pattern to 50:50 now,” he said.

Gogoi further pointed out that the state government had opened some model schools. However, as the central government stopped their funding, the burden is now on the state government to run these schools.

AssamChief MinisterFederal FundingNDA GovtTarun GogoiUPA Govt