SHILLONG, Nov 16 - The Northeastern States would continue its special category status after the Centre announced to continue with special plan assistance for NE States.
National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog member, Bibek Debroy, on Monday announced that the Centre has agreed to continue with the special plan assistance for the Northeastern States. In this regard, Debroy said, an official communication would be sent to the State Governments soon.
Making the announcement, after Chief Minister Mukul Sangma raised the issue during the two-day Northeast Connectivity Summit, Debroy said, �The special plan assistance would be 100 per cent from the Centre and would be routed through the NITI Aayog for the States.�
The special plan assistance was given by the erstwhile Planning Commission to �special category States� to implement important projects, which are listed as priority projects by these State Governments. The eight Northeastern States, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand were the special category States.
However, after the 14th Finance Commission recommended an increase of Centre tax devolution to the States, from 32 to 42 per cent and doing away with plan and non-plan budgetary allocation, the special category States technically ceased to exist, before Monday�s announcement of Debroy.
Although Debroy didn�t mention, it is likely that the Himalayan States, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttrakhand and Himachal Pradesh would also get their share of special plan assistance.
Meanwhile, Chief Minster expressed his happiness over the Centre�s decision to continue with the 90:10 funding pattern for centrally Sponsored Schemes for the Northeastern States and increased central tax devolution to the States.