SHILLONG, Sept 10 - New North Eastern Council (NEC) Secretary, Ram Muivah today said he would adopt a �zero tolerance policy against corruption,� in the Council. However, senior NEC officials were quick to dismiss reports of corruption in the Council as mere rumours.
�There would be zero tolerance against corruption,� Muivah, who has taken charge of the Council, said during a press briefing at the NEC Secretariat here.
He said there is a general perception amongst the public in the region about corruption in the Council. �This perception of the NEC not being honest may or may not be true. My endeavour would be to remove any kind of corruption or impressions,� Muivah, a senior IAS official, who earlier worked with the Ministry of Finance and was also Director in the Urban Development Ministry, said.
Meanwhile, Muivah termed as �unfortunate� the low budget allocation of Rs 773 crore for the Council that looks after the developmental works of eight Northeastern States. The NEC secretary said he would impress upon the members (Governors and CMs) to urge the Prime Minster Narendra Modi to increase the budget allocation of the Council.
He further said poor utilisation of funds by the States was also an issue. Assam is one of the worst amongst the States in terms of utilisation of funds.
Officials said Assam releases allocated NEC fund sometimes after a year for the projects, delaying project implementation.
Muivah said he would also bring in fairness in distribution of funds. �Five States � Meghalaya, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Tripura � has almost similar population. So fund share would be equal for these States. Sikkim would be less and Assam would get the largest share,� the NEC Secretary said about reform initiatives he has envisaged for the Council.