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CM urges MLAs to oppose Plan panel recommendations

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, March 3 � Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today called upon MLAs in the Legislative Assembly to unanimously �voice concern� over the 14th Finance Commission�s recommendations and said the State would be a big loser due to the slashing of grants-in-aid.

�We will oppose the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission, which has given very little grant to a state with special needs like Assam,� Gogoi said during a discussion in the Zero Hour.

He said the effort of the NDA regime at the Centre to take the country on a free market trajectory would hurt backward states like Assam.

�I had openly criticised Modi at the NITI Aayog meeting. I had pointed out that any attempt to take our country on the path of a free market will hurt the farm sector and our poor people. The word �Socialism� is part of our Constitution�s preamble. We cannot retreat from our stated path of Socialism. Modi is a clever person. So he praised me at the meeting,� Gogoi said.

Regarding special state category status for Assam, Gogoi said, �They (Centre) have not yet said anything specifically about withdrawing special state status. I hope the House, including the BJP members, will unanimously voice concern so that the Centre will listen to us.�

Thanking Prafulla Mahanta for raising the issue, he added, �I thank him for now realising what the real face of the NDA is.�

Earlier, giving the notice, Mahanta said the special category status has been diluted over the last few years as various projects have been taken up where the share of grants is much less than the prescribed 90 per cent.

He said states like Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and even Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal will receive much more grants-in-aid than Assam.

�So Assam is the biggest loser. It will hamper the State�s development. The State should protest before the Centre,� he said.

He added, �Assam can become rich if we have control over our oil, coal and tea but not when we have to beg the Centre for hiking the royalty.�

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