NEW DELHI, Nov 22 - The war of words between the Assam Government and Centre has intensified with the Ministry for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) claiming that the Tarun Gogoi Government has been unable to submit utilisation certificate (UC) for Rs 436 crore of released funds.
In an informal interaction with the media on Sunday, DoNER Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said that Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi�s demand for a �white paper� has more to do with poll-related politics than actual facts.
Furnishing details, the Minister said that under the scheme of NLCPR, the Ministry has released Rs 1052.01 crore for 220 on-going projects in Assam and has received UC for only Rs 616.39 crore. It is yet to receive UC for Rs 435.62 crore, which is 41.41 per cent of the funds released.
Despite this, in order to ensure that the on-going projects do not suffer for lack of funds, while the Ministry of DoNER has released Rs 221.80 crore, the North Eastern Council (NEC) has released Rs 57.23 crore to the Government of Assam during the last 18 months.
The Government of Assam has failed to submit completion certificates in respect of 25 projects despite all funds for the projects having been released. In three of the projects the delay is as much as 141 months, he said.
There are 43 projects where advance money (first instalment) has been released to the Assam Government, but the State has failed to submit any account of it or to report any progress, he further alleged.
In fact, the DoNER Ministry despatched a senior ranking official to Assam early this week to take stock of the position. The official met the Chief Secretary, the Additional Chief Secretary and other top officials, but came back empty handed, as the State Government officials were unable to furnish any documents, sources said.
The Ministry of DoNER has also not been apprised of anything about these projects. There are 151 projects, for which requisite documentation is yet to be received from it for released funds.
The Ministry is eagerly waiting for the missing documentation and accounts. This has denied the public of the State the benefits of these projects.
Apart from its sub-optimal performance, the State Government has withheld funds specifically given to the autonomous councils, including BTC and KAATC for considerable periods.
The data about all the schemes are available in the website of DoNER. The commitment of the present Union Government is unshakable for allround development of the northeastern region.