GUWAHATI, Dec 20 � During the current financial year, the State initially faced some problems in utilising the Non-lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) funds due to the State Assembly elections. However, with proper planning and steps this problem could be overcome gradually and now it is expected that the funds being released by the Central Government from the Central Pool would soon reach the amount of Rs 424.84 crore.
The DoNER Minister has also assured expeditious release of the third instalment of the financial year�s allocations from this Pool. This will raise the size of the amount being received by the State from this Pool during the current financial year to Rs 500 crore.
This was disclosed by State�s Planning and Development (P&D) Minister Tanka Bahadur Rai in the State Assembly here today. He was replying to a call attention motion moved by former Chief Minister and Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) MLA Prafulla Kumar Mahanta on the issue.
Lack of knowledge in preparation of the detailed project report (DPR) and utilisation certificate are also posing problems in speedy utilisation of the Central funds. Therefore, the P&D Department of the State has uploaded an eight-point concept paper and the formats of the utilisation certificate and the DPR.
It is also a fact that many of the utilisation certificates do not land in the P&D Department. This is also posing problem.
The Department had utilisation certificates of Rs 74.72 crore till June last and till November the amount utilised for various NLCPR-funded projects rose by Rs 48.2 crore.
At a point it was feared that this year, the retention of the Central funds would remain low as against the 2010-11 fiscal�s Rs 446 crore, the State could receive only Rs 231.43 crore till October 5 last.
This forced the P&D Minister to write to the DoNER Minister pleading for release of more money to the State, said the Minister.
Meanwhile, the P&D Department has held meetings to review the utilisation of the Central funds in several districts, he said.
The Minister also clarified that in the case of the NLCPR funds meant for the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), the Welfare of the Plains Tribals and Backward Classes Department is the nodal department, while for the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council, the Hill Areas Development Department is the nodal department for the matter.
Earlier, raising the issue Mahanta, referring to a newspaper report, said that the Central Government has warned the State Government against its failure to utilise the NLCPR funds properly. Other Central funds are also not utilized properly, he alleged.
Instances are there where the State Government has kept Central funds in the revenue deposit to impress upon the Planning Commission that these resources were its own wealth. The performance of Assam in matters of utilisation of the Central funds is one of the worst in the NE region, said the AGP leader.