The Assam government on Friday requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to include seven districts of the State under the Integrated Action Plan to counter Maoist activities so that the growing trend of left-wing extremism was contained before it became a menace.
In a memorandum submitted by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to the Prime Minister at the Raj Bhavan here, the State government said Maoist activities were increasing in Assam, particularly in the upper districts, because of their strategic location.
Dr. Singh was also urged to deploy at least 125 companies of Central paramilitary forces to counter the activities of both insurgent groups and Maoists. Presently there were only 97 companies of Central forces.
Besides, the State government requested the Prime Minister to consider grant of a special allocation under the 12th plan for funding a Rs. 3000-crore housing scheme for all State police personnel over the next five years.
Even as a 12-hour Assam bandh called by the Paresh Barua-led faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) to protest Dr. Singh's visit to the State affected normal life, the Congress-Bodoland People's Front government highlighted the issue of “rights over natural resources of the State” and conveyed to the Prime Minister the “simmering resentment” that Assam was not getting its due share of benefits from its natural resources.
The State government said the ‘resentment' was aggravated after the Comptroller and Auditor- General of India pointed out that injustice was being meted out to Assam regarding benefits in the form of oil royalty and tax revenue.
It urged Dr. Singh to pass appropriate orders so that oil producing companies paid royalty to the State government on the well head price determined by the actual prices of equivalent crude oil prevailing in the international market and not on the sale price.
Similarly value added tax and entry tax need to be paid on the market price of crude oil and not on administratively directed lower price, the government demanded.
On the issue of downstream impact of the 2000 mega watt Lower Subonsiri hydel project on the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border, it demanded that the Planning Commission ask the C.D. Thatte Committee to interact with the local people and experts before giving their report on dam safety and the hydel project. Separately, the Central Water Commission should immediately start a study of the Subonsiri, the Lohit and Siang river basins based on the terms and references given by the Ministry of Environment and Forests to determine the cumulative effect of the proposed hydro-electric projects to be set up in the upper reaches of the Brahmaputra.
The government requested Dr. Singh to review the formula for sharing of power from hydroelectric projects need and give priority to lower riparian States, whose ecology and agrarian life was disrupted.