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Cong stages walkout over Govt stand

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, July 21 - Legislators of the Congress party today staged a walkout from the State Assembly after the Speaker of the House allowed Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to present the State government�s stand on the change in funding pattern vis-a-vis the issue of Special Category State status.

The Congress party, expressing discontentment, said that it was not right to allow the Minister to present his case when the Congress party was not allowed to raise the point of order to discuss the same issue on Wednesday. �How can you allow the Minister to clarify on an issue when the matter was not allowed to be discussed in the House at the first place,� Congress legislator Rakibul Hussain said.

However, despite the Congress legislators staging a walkout, State Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma continued with his statement and said that there are only a few schemes which do not conform to 90:10 or 80:20 funding pattern mode.

�As far as the Special Category State status is concerned, only the name has been changed. The North East will continue to enjoy special

benefits and treatment along with the Himalayan States, like before. Without bothering what it is termed, we should try to find out whether the State is getting an increased funding or not,� Sarma told the House.

He said that a detailed report on the funding pattern would be placed before the House on Monday. �If I had quoted any misleading figures, let them move a privilege motion against me,� Sarma asserted.

The Congress legislators joined the House proceedings immediately after the Minister completed his statement in the House.

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