Shillong/ New DELHI: Taking strong exception to the allusion about the State’s requirements of additional funds of Rs 3000 crore from the Centre, to meet infrastructural investments as the ‘begging bowl syndrome’, Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma said the Government is not in dire financial straits and is not seeking a bail-out package but is looking for additional funds to fulfill the key aspirations of the people of Meghalaya.
“We cannot allocate funds from the Plan budget for constructing the Assembly building and other infrastructural needs. We require additional funds from the Centre to meet these requirements. The State Government has prepared a detailed plan before seeking additional funds from the Centre,” the Chief Minister clarified.
“We have spelt out the different areas of development that need to be reinforced such as tourism, livelihoods creation, water supply system etc. We have also sought funds for a starting a Medical College and a Centre for Performing Arts as well as the expansion of Shillong township. These are integral for building human resource,” he said adding that the Centre is open to giving additional funds to the State to meet these requirements.
“It is misleading to use words such as ‘begging bowl’ to define the State’s demand for additional funds from the Centre, especially when our requirements are genuine. For several years there has been no blue-print for the sustained development of Meghalaya. Now that we have come up with concrete plans, the media cannot use terms like “begging bowl” to define the funds that would flow in for the development of the State and its people”, Dr Sangma asserted.