White paper claims State received Rs.1,58,532 crore less under NDA regime

The total Central fund flow to Assam under United Progressive Alliance rule has been to the tune of Rs. 1,90,620 crore as against Rs. 32,088 crore during the term of the National Democratic Alliance, said Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi here on Monday.

Releasing the Congress’s white paper on contributions of NDA and UPA to Assam, Mr. Gogoi alleged that the 11th Finance Commission, constituted under the NDA regime, meted out grave injustice to Assam, citing the Rs. 13,280 crore it awarded the State for the period 2000-2005. In comparison, the State received Rs. 24,329 crore and Rs. 57,832 crore from the UPA regime’s 12th and 13th Finance Commissions respectively.

The Chief Minister said the GSDP growth rate (at 1999-2000 constant price) increased from 1.75 per cent in the 9th plan period (1997-98 to 2001-02) to 5.33 per cent in the 10th plan and to 6.78 per cent in the 11th (2007-08 to 2011-12).

“The HDI report ranked Assam [first] in [the] percentage change in income index as compared to 1999-2000,” states the white paper.

Mr. Gogoi claimed that the total investment by major public sector units, the Central board and private sector industries during UPA rule was Rs. 47,739 crore as against Rs. 4,792 crore during NDA rule. The Railways invested Rs. 1,063 crore in the State under the NDA regime as compared to the Rs. 12,359 crore invested under the UPA regime. During NDA rule, only 18 km of the 670-km stretch of the East-West Corridor through Assam was completed as against 480 km during UPA rule. Private sector investment increased from Rs. 4,829 crore during NDA rule to Rs. 25,926 crore during UPA rule, he added.

The white paper states that when the NDA was in power at the Centre and the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) was in the State, restrictions were imposed in new government recruitments and a large number of vacant posts were abolished.

“During the UPA regime, more than 3 lakh persons got employment in the government sector in the State. Services of more than 30,000 muster roll workers [was] regularised, besides that of 41,000 teaching and non-teaching staff of provincialised primary, high, higher secondary schools and madrassas,” it adds.

The Chief Minister alleged that Assam had lost a whopping investment worth Rs. 9,156 crore due to a dilution of the North-East Industrial Policy, 1997 by the BJP-led NDA government when the same incentives were extended to some other States.

Asked to explain the poor development pointers in the State despite large flow of Central funds during the UPA regime, Mr. Gogoi admitted that that Assam was lagging behind in comparison with the developed States and was yet to reach the stage when the special category tag would no longer be required.