Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley has assured that the Centre would sympathetically consider the demand for restoration of the 90:10 funding pattern for the NE states. Sources told Assam Tribune that during his meeting with Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi, Jaitley said the demand may be genuine for NE States and hence would be considered sympathetically.
However, Jaitley explained that though he is sympathetic to the issue, he could not commit at the moment because the NITI Aayog-appointed subcommittee of Chief Ministers is going into its various aspects, sources said.
NP Spl. Correspondent Adds: Stating that resource-crunched states like Nagaland would be the most affected if the special category status is removed, an official however said that the picture would be clear only after the final meeting of the NITI Aayog committee with Prime Minster Narendra on June 13.
“Everything would be clear only after the NITI-A meeting, whether or not the special status for North Eastern states would continue,” the official said.
Nagaland has nearly Rs. 1000 crore fiscal deficit and if the funding pattern is changed, nothing would come up, the official said.
Almost all the departments in the state are unable to even provide the 10% state share to carry out projects. “The funds are stashed in the Civil Deposit, developmental works are stalled because of non-payments. The financial condition seems to be pathetic,” sources said.