NEW DELHI, June 11 - Faced with a precarious resource condition, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, seeking a bailout package.
According to a White Paper submitted recently by State Finance Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma, the new government has a liability of Rs 10,000 crore.
A day after arriving in the national capital, Sonowal paid back-to-back visits to the Prime Minister and the Union Finance Minister. Later, he told newsmen that he appraised both the leaders about the financial condition of the State government. Sonowal also confirmed that he submitted the White Paper to Modi and Jaitley and sought their cooperation. Sonowal claimed that the Prime Minister and Union Finance Minister have assured him all help.
According to the White Paper, the internal resource growth in the State has also reached the lowest of mere 1.39 per cent in 2014-15.
�During the last four years from 2012-13 onwards, the revenue growth was abysmal. Even before this period, there were occasions of single-digit growth in 2007-08 and 2010-11 and that was the time the government should have made serious attempts to make systematic corrections. The figures of State revenue collection speak volumes about the poor governance of revenue administering departments and resultant leakages,� he had said.
The White Paper mentioned that Assam, in order to attract incentive grant of mere Rs 300 crore from the 13th Finance Commission during 2010-15, had tried to project itself as a revenue-surplus State.
�This was taken on record by the subsequent commission, which led to its recommendation of a very low amount of revenue deficit grant of only Rs 3,379 crore during 2015-20. Thus, for the strategy to attract an incentive grant of Rs 300 crore, the State has been deprived of substantial grants during the current five-year period,� the White Paper had said.
Meanwhile, Sonowal also paid courtesy visits to Vice President Hamid Ansari and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. Sonowal said he met the two leaders to seek their blessings. �They have advised me to work sincerely,� the Chief Minister said.