Kohima, Oct. 6: Political parties and Naga organisations have urged the Centre to ensure sustainable development in the state by allocating adequate funds by honouring agreements.
Except the Opposition Congress, all political parties and Naga organisations, led by Naga Hoho, today had a closed-door meeting with visiting officials of the Fourteenth Finance Commission and apprised them of the need to have rational, sustainable development by allocating adequate funds for the state.
The commission members, who were on a three-day visit to the state, left for New Delhi this afternoon.
The Naga leaders urged the Centre to honour its commitments and agreements signed in the past and focus on sustainable development in the state, created out of a political agreement in1960.
The Congress, which has been all along criticising the state government for alleged misappropriation of public funds and bad governance, did not attend today’s crucial meeting. The Congress leaders could not be contacted for their comments. Sources said said the members of the commission were surprised by the party’s absence.
The Naga People’s Front (NPF), the largest constituent of the ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland, highlighted the circumstances leading to the creating of Nagaland out of a political agreement.
The party said after many years of turmoil, the 16-Point Agreement was singed between the Naga People’s Convention (NPC) and the Centre, which led to the creation of Nagaland. It said Clause 11 of the agreement provides for central assistance for meeting the cost of development and grant-in-aid to meet the cost of administration. The Centre later abrogated this in 1989.
The NPF also highlighted the Nine Point Agreement of 1948 and Shillong Accord of 1975 with the Naga militants, which had failed to end insurgency in the state. However, the signing of ceasefire agreement with the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) in 1997 and with NSCN (Khaplang) in 2001, has brought about some visible changes in the state and for which the state needs rapid development with support of the Centre.
The BJP has also sought more funds stating that Nagaland was different from other states. President of the BJP state unit, N. Chuba Ao, said Nagaland needs sustainable development in all aspects and that the Centre has to be realistic in its approach.
He said the 13th Finance Commission’s pattern of funding had a negative impact on the state. He said it had failed to appreciate the fact that the situation in Nagaland was far from normal and that the special status conferred to the state should have been protected. While computing the non-plan revenue deficit of Nagaland from 2010-11 to 2014-15, the commission recommended a cap on salary expenditure at 35 per cent of total revenue expenditure. However, the actual salary expenditure hovered between 62 and 65 per cent.
Ao said the commission has asked the political parties to submit another memorandum so that the former would submit the report to the government with appropriate recommendations.
The Nationalist Congress Party also requested the Centre for more funds for rapid development of the state.
The Naga Hoho submitted a memorandum asking for more funds for sustainable development, adding that without which a state like Nagaland would not progress.
Hoho President Kevilietuo Keiwhuo, said Nagaland needs special attention as it was created out of a political agreement.