GUWAHATI, July 28 � Reacting to the allegation by Union Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Sarbananda Sonowal that the State Government had failed to submit utilisation certificates of Centrally-sponsored projects involving Rs 10,000 crore, State Industries and Commerce Minister Pradyut Bardoloi sought to attribute the developments to late release of funds by the Centre.
�We often get funds at the fag end of the financial year � something that hinders prospects of utilisation of funds. This is an all-India phenomenon, with most states, including advanced states such as Gujarat and Punjab, experiencing the same hurdle and the consequent delay in project implementation,� he said.
�Gujarat, Punjab, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand have outstanding utilisation certificates worth 13,049.67 crore, Rs 386.18 crore, Rs 46,975.10 crore, Rs 34,686.57 crore and Rs 4,640.48 crore respectively during 2012-13 � as stated in the CAG report,� he said.
Claiming that Assam had received a pat on its back from the ADB, Planning Commission and Finance Commission from time to time for its financial discipline and management, Bardoloi said that it had been adequately awarded by those authorities on its sound financial management report card.
�The ADB recently awarded Rs 100 crore to the State Government over its financial discipline. Similarly, the 13th Financial Commission had in December 2010 awarded Rs 300 crore. And there has not been a single day of RBI overdraft for the last nine years since 2009, whereas that was a common occurrence during the AGP�s tenure,� Bardoloi said.
On the update of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Bardoloi said that the State Government was pursuing the matter in all seriousness, taking into account the concerns of all groups.
�This is a sensitive issue and we are proceeding in the right direction. The RGI, too, has a rule on the matter,� he added.