Gogoi releases white paper on Assam’s finances

Guwahati, Feb 13 (IANS) Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Saturday released a white paper on the state’s finances, and said the erstwhile Congress-led government at the Centre gave more funds to the state then the incumbent BJP-led regime.

Giving statistics on the average fund transfer from the Centre during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) tenure, Gogoi dared the BJP-led government to prove him wrong by publishing a similar white paper.

“The average fund transfer rose from Rs.3,798 crore during the NDA tenure — 1998-99 to 2003-04 — to Rs.12,760 crore during the UPA tenure — 2004-05 to 2013-14, which was almost four times more than what the state government received during the previous regime.

“As a whole, while only Rs.22,734 crore was received by the state between 1998-99 to 2003-04, Rs.1,27,595 crore was received between 2004-05 to 2013-14 as transfer of funds from the central government,” Gogoi said.

He said Assam has been able to achieve a remarkable turnaround in the last 10 years due to a number of reforms undertaken by the Congress government.

“The fiscal reform measures adopted by the state have started yielding favourable results from 2005-06 onwards. In 2005-06, revenue and fiscal deficits were not only wiped out but became comfortably favourable,” he said.

“Till 2008-09, compared to some other states like Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, flow of funds to Assam under externally aided projects (EAP) was not up to the expected level.

“However, in the past years, flow of funds to the state through EAPs has been increasing substantially. While there were only two EAP projects prior to 2001, 22 projects have been brought by the state government since then, with more than Rs.17,000 crore,” he said.

The chief minister said that the per capita income which stood at Rs.12,803 prior to 2001, rose to Rs.42,036 in 2013-14.

The annual plan size rose from Rs.1,521.28 crore to Rs.12,500 crore in 2013-14.

“The government has no overdraft and no ban from the RBI now and the total deposit has risen from Rs.19,992.71 crore in 2000-01 to Rs.76,795.25 crore in 2013-14,” he said.

“During 2013-14, when the UPA government was in power at the Centre, Assam received an allocation of Rs.18,000 crore from the central government, out of which Rs.17,568.83 crore was central assistance to state plans (CASP).

“However, out of this amount, the NDA government, which came to power in May 2014, released only Rs.12,507.85 crore resulting in a loss to the tune of Rs.5,060.98 crore to the allocation made by the Centre,” he said.

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