GUWAHATI, July 12 - The Opposition Congress has castigated the Centre over the alleged dilution of the functional autonomy of the North Eastern Council (NEC) and the removal of six sectors or departments from the Council.
Addressing the media here today, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Ripun Bora also lambasted the governments of the north-eastern states ruled by the BJP and its allies for not raising the matter during the recent 67th plenary of the NEC.
He said that while Prime Minister Narendra Modi always talks about development of the North East and refers to the region as �Ashta Lakshmi�, fund allocation to NEC has been drastically reduced.
�The Modi-led government bypassed the plenary council and approved NEC schemes unilaterally in the Cabinet on March 28 this year. In December 2017, the Central government took away six sectors from the NEC unilaterally without any consultation with the plenary council,� he said.
Bora added, �Only Rs 4,500 crore has been earmarked for 2017-18 to 2019-20 out of which Rs 3,997 crore forms past liabilities under different heads. So the Government of India has provided only Rs 503 crore for the eight north-eastern states for three years,� he said, adding that this comes to only around Rs 20 crore per state per year.
Bora said that all the chief ministers of the region are aware of these facts but none, except Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla, raised his voice during the 67th plenary.
He said the north-eastern states have been deprived of their rights. �Why is NEDA (North East Democratic Alliance) silent? NEDA is only for politics, not for development,� said the APCC chief.
Pointing to the latest rankings released by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry regarding �Ease of Doing Business�, Bora said that despite all the tall claims made by the Sarbananda Sonowal government, Assam has been able to achieve only the 17th position.
Speaking on the occasion, APCC vice president Pradyut Bordoloi said that despite road shows and the Global Investors� Summit, no discernible investments have come to the State and there has also been no job creation.
He called upon the State government to submit a status paper regarding the quantum of investment that has come to the State and the number of jobs created since the BJP dispensation came to power in 2016.
The Congress party also slammed the State government on the law-and-order front and cited the recent cases of two lady passengers found dead inside trains under mysterious circumstances in two separate incidents in Assam.