NEW DELHI, May 8 � With financial crisis looming large following delay in release of funds by the Centre, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi is mulling to present a second Budget this year.
The Chief Minister, who has sought an appointment with Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, said that he is going to request the Modi government to release the Central funds earmarked for the State.
�Not only Assam, other States are also facing financial crunch, as the Centre has not released any funds,� Gogoi told this newspaper.
�We passed the State Budget in March on the basis of certain assumptions, but if the Centre don�t release funds accordingly, then we may have to readjust our calculations and may have to present a second Budget this year,� Gogoi said.
The Assam Budget 2015-16 estimated a surplus of over Rs 1,610 crore. Estimated transactions during the year will result in an estimated surplus of Rs 1,609.78 crore. However, considering the opening deficit of Rs 1,875.10 crore from this fiscal, the FY 2016 is expected to end with an estimated closing deficit of Rs 265.32 crore, according to the State Budget.
�We are managing somehow, but smaller States are facing the brunt,� the Chief Minister said referring to Arunachal Pradesh.
��The Centre is withholding the funds and my meeting with Jaitley would be mainly to seek clarifications and early of release of Central funds,� he said. The North Eastern States, which were categorised as Special Category States, are no longer sure of the pattern of Central funds.
Gogoi said that the 90:10 funding pattern has been discontinued leading to additional financial burden for the State. �Now we have to provide nearly 50 per cent of the funds for Central schemes,� he said.
An official said that there would be major changes in the pattern of assistance from the Centre from the next financial year. The sharing pattern may undergo a change in respect of Centrally-sponsored schemes with States sharing a higher fiscal responsibility for scheme implementation, sources said.
Details of changes in sharing pattern will be worked out on the basis of available resources from union finances as the Planning Commission has been replaced by NITI Aayog.
Meanwhile, ruling out possibility of doing away with Non Lapsable Pool of Central Resources, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said that according to last vetted figure, the closing balance of the Pool as on March 31, 2013 is Rs 12,769 crore.