GUWAHATI, June 28 � Though the Bodoland People�s Front (BPF) is an alliance partner of the Congress Government in the State, the BPF-led Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) has lodged a complaint before the Planning Commission against the State Government on the issue of allocation of funds to the Council. The BTC alleged that the State Government had failed to maintain transparency in fund allocation and demanded that the Planning Commission should earmark the funds to be released to the Council every year while finalizing the State�s Plan size.
Though the State Government has been claiming that funds from the State Plan were released to the BTC on the basis of population pattern, this was not actually done. Besides, the failure of the Government to release funds on time seriously affected development projects in the Council area.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, the Deputy Chief of the BTC, Khampa Borgoyari, said that the BTC was always kept in the dark on the modalities for allotment of funds. The Assam Government has been claiming that the BTC, which has a population of around 30 lakh, should get 12.19 percent of the divisible plan fund, but the Government, while dividing the plan allocation to divisible and non-divisible heads, keeps most of the money in the non-divisible head. As a result of this, the BTC has been deprived every year since its formation.
Borgoyari said that in 2006-07, the Plan allocation of the State was Rs 3853.84 crore only of which Rs 104 crore was allotted to the BTC, which is much less than the 12.19 percent due to the Council. Similar was the story in every subsequent year and in the last financial year, the Council received only Rs 242 crore against the State Plan allocation of Rs 7645 crore. Though this year�s allocation is yet to be made, the BTC authorities were informed by the State Government informally that Rs 270 crore would be released against the State Plan allocation of Rs 9,000 crore. �We want to know what is the basis of fund allocation,� he added.
The Deputy Chief of the BTC further said that though the State Government, in addition to the Plan allocation, receives a special Plan assistance every year, but the BTC is yet to get a single paisa from that amount.
A delegation of the BTC headed by the Chief of the Council, Hagrama Mahilary, today approached the Planning Commission with the complaint against the State Government and demanded that the allocation for the BTC should be specifically earmarked. The delegation also demanded that the State Government should be asked to release funds to the BTC on time as on most occasions, the Council receives the second phase of the allocation in the fag-end of the year leaving very little time to take up development schemes.
The BTC delegation further said that the Council, which has 30 lakh people, has been receiving only around Rs 240 crore a year, while Mizoram , which has a population of nine lakh, receives Rs 950 crore and Nagaland receives Rs 991 crore against a population of 20 lakh.