GUWAHATI, May 16 � Union Minister for Sports and Youth Welfare Sarbananda Sonowal today dared Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to bring in transparency in receipt and expenditure of Central funds and alleged that the Congress government in the State failed in its responsibility to provide utilisation certificates of funds received from the Centre.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Sonowal alleged that the Chief Minister was trying to cover up his own failures by blaming the Centre. Accusing Gogoi of misleading the people of Assam, Sonowal said the State government should be transparent in financial matters. He said Gogoi should inform the people of all the details of the funds received from the Centre during his tenure as Chief Minister and where the money was exactly spent.
Sonowal pointed out that Gogoi, who was a Union minister and then ruled the State for three successive terms as Chief Minister, should have known the responsibilities of the State government. It is difficult for the Centre to provide funds if the utilisation certificates for the amounts allocated earlier are not submitted in time. If all the other states could provide the utilisation certificates of the funds provided by the Centre, there was no reason why Assam could not do so, Sonowal said.
The Union Minister said Gogoi, who is also in charge of the finance department, should inform the people of Assam the details of the expenditures of the Central funds. He said the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) also had pointed out the financial irregularities in the State government. The CAG also pointed out that the State government had failed to provide utilisation certificates of Central funds, he said.
Sonowal alleged that a huge chunk of the Central funds must have been �looted� during the tenure of the Congress government, thus depriving the common people of the benefits of the Central schemes. �Had the money been utilised properly, the State government could have provided the utilisation certificates in time,� he reasoned.
It may be mentioned that the Chief Minister had recently admitted the State was facing a serious financial crisis and alleged that the Centre�s move to reduce the funds was the main reason for the present state of affairs.