AGARTALA, Feb 7 (IANS) - The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front government in Tripura Monday accused the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government of depriving the state of central funds.
As the state was not following the Congress-led UPA government's economic reform policies, the central government is depriving the state of financial assistance, the state's Finance Minister Badal Chaudhury said.
Addressing a gathering here, Chaudhury, a member of the CPI-M central committee, said: "The UPA government, through the 13th Finance Commission's (TFC) awards and recommendations, enormously denied due financial share of the central assistance."
In view of the TFC's erroneous recommendations and awards on share of central funds, the resource-starved northeastern state has been facing unprecedented financial crisis, he said.
Chaudhury said the Tripura government had to undergo serious fiscal hardships, particularly in ensuring timely payment of various committed liabilities, including salaries and pensions.
"The state government has also been forced to put all ongoing development activities on hold for want of financial resources," the minister said.
The minister demanded increasing the rate of interest in small-savings to encourage the marginal income groups to invest in them and check the growth of unauthorised non- banking financial companies (NBFC) in the region.
Choudhury blamed the central government for reducing the rate of interest in small savings over the past few annual budgets and pushing the rural and marginal income sections to invest in the NBFCs.
"It is quite evident that over a hundred NBFCs are active in northeast India over the past several years and have been collecting money from the people, promising hefty returns in a short period without license from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and other regulatory bodies," he said.
He said Tripura had sent a list of errant NBFCs to the RBI and other central agencies, but the central government "remained silent".
However, police had earlier arrested at least 17 officials and important functionaries of several NBFCs in the state for violation of financial regulations.