GUWAHATI, Jan 9 - Accusing the Centre of misleading the people with incorrect statements, Assam Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Rakibul Hussain today said that the Centre had curtailed funding on crucial projects, besides making complicated the entire funding pattern.
Addressing media persons here, Hussain said that while the Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj had released Rs 292 crore of the Rs 584.8 crore sanctioned during the financial year 2015-16, it also put a condition of public management system to be followed by the State Government for utilizing the amount. Another condition of training was also imposed, he said.
Hussain added that the planning manual prepared by the State Institute of Rural Development (SIRD) for the purpose was accepted by the Centre and that the SIRD had trained up 13,000 people for the purpose.
Hussain said that all this created delay in implementation of various projects.
Alleging that the Centre did not want Assam to develop, Hussain said this was borne out by the curtailment of funds and unnecessary complications in the fund disbursal procedure.
�The Centre is slowing down the State�s development process. In the last financial year Andhra Pradesh got Rs 934.34 crore, Bihar got Rs 2,269.18 crore, Gujarat got Rs 932.35 crore, and Karnataka got Rs 1,002.85 crore. Assam has received a meagre amount of Rs 584.8 crore despite being promised of Rs 1,368.46 crore,� he claimed.
Asserting that one should not �do politics with the poor�, Hussain said that funds under the MGNREGS had been withheld despite the State�s submission of utilization certificates. The number of Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) houses, too, has been cut by 60,000.
Pointing out that the previous UPA Government at the Centre had promised funds for 6,000 new posts for the State under the Ministry of Panchayat, Hussain said that no fund had been released for the purpose by the present NDA Government.
Earlier on Friday, Nihal Chand, Union Minister for State for Panchayati Raj, had accused the State Government of failing to utilize the Rs 292 crore Central fund for the panchayat sector released in August last year.
He said that Rs 292 crore was sent by the Centre on August 18, 2015, along with guidelines to the State Government to release the money to the department concerned within 15 days. He added that the State Government is not serious about allocation of Central funds and added that it is blocking development of the Panchayati Raj system.