NEW DELHI, June 7 � The Centre is on the verge of fulfilling its part of a special package deal, releasing Rs.450.81 crore of the promised Rs 500 crore for development of Bodoland Territorial Council area. The BTC has so far utilised Rs.378.28 crore.
�I am happy to state that major part of Rs.500 crore special package announced by Government of India has already been released to the State Government and Bodoland Territorial Council,� Minister of DoNER Bijoy Krishna Handique said here today.
According to the Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) between the Centre, Government of Assam and BLT signed in 2003, Union Government had agreed to provide financial assistance of Rs.100 crore per annum for five years to develop the socio-economic infrastructure in BTC area.
As part of this, 42 projects have been identified and sanctioned, Handique said.
Further, the Prime Minister announced during his visit in 2008, that Rs.250 crore was additional BTC Package, out of which 10 projects with an approved cost of Rs.108.97 crore have already been sanctioned.
Handique said utilisation of funds in BTC has improved during the year 2010-11, compared to previous year. �I am hopeful that such faster implementation of schemes in BTC area would help in building up infrastructure to give fillip to the development of the area� said the Minister DoNER.
Interestingly, sanction of the funds from Ministry of DoNER�s allocation was not without controversy. MPs from the North Eastern States under the aegis of North East MP Forum have been protesting the sanction from the Ministry, on the ground that the Bodoland Territorial Council was given the grant, as part of an accord signed with the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The funds sanctioned at the rate of Rs 50 crore per annum should be released from Home Ministry and not the corpus of the DoNER, argued the MPs.
Meanwhile, the Bodo Peoples Front (BPF) an ally of UPA-II has also been demanding extension of the scheme for another five years.