Hitting out at the Narendra Modi-led government for withholding developmental funds in Meghalaya, the opposition Congress on Monday demanded that the House should pass a resolution to urge the Centre to immediately release funds in respect of the North Eastern Council (NEC) to ensure that the state is not deprived.
"I am afraid since the manner in which the resources being transferred by the Central government are depriving the state and the people. Not only Meghalaya but in the whole northeast," Leader of Opposition, Mukul Sangma said.
Sangma was participating in a discussion on the overall development in the state and the need to seek more financial assistance from the center, and earmark a budget provision for all the eleven districts in the state in the assembly moved by Congress legislator, Process Sawkmie.
Asking Chief Minister, Conrad K. Sangma to compare the difference of financial assistance that the state had received from the Centre between the past and the present, the veteran Congress legislator said: "The Centre is not forthcoming and the money is not coming because even entitlements of the state are being withheld.
"It is agonizing, painful, and unacceptable for the small state like Meghalaya which depends on its minimum resources. We have to fight for our entitlements."
Sangma pointed out that there was no momentum in as far as getting the Centre's support on road projects, including the SARDP (North East) that had brought change to the road network.
Informing the Assembly that the center did not sanction any projects in respect to roads since 2014 after BJP assumed power, the Leader of Opposition also pointed out that NEC schemes already sanctioned and the first installment released, but the implementation was put on hold for want of compliance with NEC instructions.
"Why has the NEC instructed to put on hold these projects when the government had identified them based on priorities. What is going to happen to these projects? When projects are withheld, funds cannot be utilized. When the state government is not able to submit utilization certificates, the NEC also cannot release further funds," he said.
"In the name of changing the guidelines, they (Centre) stopped sanctions until existing projects get completed. When will the projects be completed, when 2019 elections are knocking on the door. The government of India has adopted a tactic of how to deprive the state.
"I have a caution because I could see and read between lines about the actual intent. We are stepping into October but until now, clarity about NEC, NLCPR is not forthcoming. After December, they will be in a no sanction mode," he said.