Assam Govt seeks Rs 3.07 lakh crore from 14th Finance Commission

Guwahati: Assam Government has sought Rs 307430.13 crore from the 14th Finance Commission to  meet its non-Plan expenditure and give an added thrust to infrastructure development projects in the State.
The Government submitted a memorandum seeking Rs 307430.13 crore as an award from the Commission to meet the State’s committed expenditure and carry forward infrastructure development activities.
Making a forceful plea that reduction of royalty on crude oil at discounted price has hit the State’s economy hard, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi urged the Commission for its intervention in amending the existing methodology for calculation of rate of royalty on crude oil from the existing 20 to at least 30 per cent.
Gogoi made a strong case for inclusion of erosion as a natural calamity under Calamity Relief Fund and provide Rs 1000 crore for rehabilitation of river erosion affected families. “Erosion is a much graver problem than floods. So far 4.27 lakh hectare of land has been eroded since 1950. Every year the State accounts for average loss of 8,000 hectare due to erosion,” he added.
Keeping in view the alarming floods and erosion problem in the State, Gogoi requested the Commission to give a ‘serious thought’ on the issue and consider special grant for Rs 6000 crore to tackle the formidable calamity faced by the State.
The Chief Minister contended that as the salary expenditure of Assam is more than 45 per cent of total  revenue expenditure, the 13th Finance Commission’s directive to put a cap on the expenditure of salary to 35 per cent of revenue expenditure as ‘unrealistic assumption’.
“We request the Commission to provide full assistance for covering the gap including the additional financial implication on account of revision of pay and pension to eliminate the gap in non-plan revenue account,” he added.
Advocating for retaining Assam as a Special Category State status in the light of Raghuram Rajan Committee Report, the Chief Minister requested the Commission to set aside at least 30 per cent of the shareable pool for distribution amongst the Special Category States.

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