Monday, April 22, 2024

Maintenance Of NEC Scheme


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A moot point raised by the Development Commissioner of Meghalaya at the recent high-level meeting at the NEC Secretariat is the question of maintenance of schemes completed Under NEC auspices and finance. The recommendations of the Eighth Finance Commission is silent on this specific question; but since maintenance of these completed schemes would involve a lot of expenditure, it is of extreme relevance that the Meghalaya Government is assured of the needed financial aid for the purpose, whether it is to be offered by New Delhi direct by way of additional grants-in-aid or through the agency of the North Eastern Council. A general principte in this behalf which would be applicable to similar NEC schemes concerning other States and Union torritories of this region needs, therefore, to be svolved by the Council Secretariat itself or at a formal meeting of the NEC constituents.

The burden of financing these schemes from State budgets would rather be hard, considering the tight resource positions of almost all the units of this region. In fact, this and other considerations, which prompted the setting up of the North Eastern Council as a forum of regional development, would also support the claim that the maintenance of the development schemes, brought about under NEC auspices, continues to be the care of the NEC itself so far as the relevant financial liabilities are concerned. A differen criterion could possibly be eveloved only in those cases where the development schemes could themselves assure their maintenance without being directly dependent on the State Exchequer as such.


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