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Sonowal blames Gogoi for not availing budget benefits

Posted on Jul 26 2014 | IANS

Guwahati, July 26 : Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Sarbananda Sonowal Saturday blamed Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi's Congress government for not availing the benefits available to the state in the budget.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government had prioritised the northeastern states in the 2014-15 Budget and earmarked Rs.63,000 crore for the development of the region. As the largest state in the region, the lion's share of over Rs.20,000 crore is likely to come to Assam," said Sonowal, who si also president of the state Bharatiya Janata Party.

He, however, lamented the Assam government is averse to the benefits. "...While the central government has earmarked funds for the northeast, the state government should submit proposals and schemes and bring the money for developmental works," he said.

He added there are reports the state government is yet to submit utilisation certificates of over Rs.10,000 crore to the central government, sanctioned during the past two terms of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

Sonowal said the central government had already released Rs.144 crore to Assam for updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

"The Supreme Court had in 2006 asked the state government to expedite the process of detection and deportation of illegal Bangladeshi nationals residing in Assam through the Foreigners' Tribunals. However, the Congress-led central and state governments had not done anything in the past 10 years," he said.

Sonowal said union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju will soon visit the state and take stock of the works related to sealing of the Indo-Bangladesh border.

"Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami is also likely to visit the state soon to take stock of updating the NRC, for which required funds have already been released by the central government," he said.

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