GUWAHATI, July 12 - Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to consider the Special Grants-in-Aid to the local bodies within the Sixth Schedule Areas.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, Gogoi said the Grants-in-Aid to the Sixth Schedule Areas, together with general basic grant, taking population as the basis as was done in case of the 13th Finance Commission award, would go a long way in fulfilling the aspirations of the people living in these sensitive areas and ensure their full participation in the development process at the grassroots level, said an official statement.
The Chief Minister said the exclusion of the local bodies in the Sixth Schedule Areas, including BTC, from the operation of the 73rd and 74th amendments has constitutionally deprived them of the requisite financial support, unlike their counterparts in the general areas.
Gogoi said though the 14th Finance Commission has recommended general basic grants and performance grants for Rs 6,387.11 crore to rural and urban local bodies during 2015-16 to 2019-20, it has deprived the local bodies in the Sixth Schedule Areas of substantial amount from the award of the Central Finance Commission.
In this connection, the Chief Minister cited the instance of the 13th Finance Commission awarding some specific grants to the Sixth Schedule Areas in spite of constraints of applicability of the 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments.
The Chief Minister regretted that though the Government of Assam had strongly urged the 14th Finance Commission for an amount of Rs 2,118 crore for infrastructure and core services of Sixth Schedule Areas, it did not award any fund for these areas despite recommendation to the Union Government �to consider a larger, sustained and more effective direct intervention for the upgradation of administration as well as development of the areas covered under the proviso to Article 275(1) in order to bring excluded areas on par with general areas .�