GUWAHATI, July 26 � Accusing the State Government of inaction, Union Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today said that the Congress Government�s lackadaisical attitude would harm the State�s development prospects at a time when the Centre was releasing liberal funds.
Sonowal also said that the State Government had failed to submit utilisation certificate of Rs 10,000 crore involving various Central projects in the past 10 years.
Addressing a press conference, Sonowal said that with some proactiveness Assam stood to gain the lion�s share of the whopping Rs 63,000 crore budgetary allocation for the North-east, but �that seems a distant possibility given the State Government�s handling of Central funds in the past one decade as also its present indifferent attitude.�
Pointing out that the State Government needed to act fast to spend the allocation within the next eight months, i.e., March 31, 2015, Sonowal said that the laidback attitude of the Government was evident from the fact that it was yet to convene any meeting with the departments concerned that were to receive the funds.
�The Assam Government has been sitting idle and has not sent any project proposal. The development process has come to a grinding halt with the intense internal bickering in the State Congress. This is not the way to accelerate the State�s progress even as the Centre is facilitating an unprecedented flow of funds,� he said.
Asserting that the Centre was keen to hasten the pace of development in Assam, Sonowal said that as many as 15 Central ministers had on July 10 sat for a brainstorming session on how best to propel Assam and the North-east into the fast-track growth path.
�This is something unprecedented. The Centre had never been as keen as it is now to ensure that development gains ground in the backward North-east. But the State Government must be willing to take advantage of all this � more so because Assam has a fair share of its pressing concerns such as floods and erosion, unemployment, infrastructure development, etc, that require the Centre�s intervention,� he added.
The Union Minister also said that the Centre was for a lasting solution to the burning issue of deportation of illegal cross-border migrants from Bangladesh. �We are facilitating the setting up of a hundred Freigners� Tribunals for the purpose. Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju and the Home Secretary will be visiting the Indo-Bangla border in Assam soon,� he said.
Answering a question, Sonowal said that work on the Lower Subansiri hydel project would progress only with consensus from all concerned, including local communities.
On the ongoing encephalitis menace in the State, Sonowal said that the Centre was ready to help in any manner possible provided the State Government sought Central assistance.
On the meeting with 30-odd organisations of indigenous people yesterday, Sonowal said that issues concerning their different problems were deliberated upon. �We assured that their legitimate grievances would be addressed,� he said.