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Furore over funds in Tripura

Agartala, Aug. 23: The Tripura CPM is preparing to launch a major agitation over slashing of NREGA funds for the current financial year by the Centre.

Early this month, the Union rural development ministry had asked the state rural development department to furnish a list of the most backward blocks in the state.

In reply, the director of the state’s rural development department, K.D. Chakma, had listed 15 of the 58 blocks in the state as most backward.

The Union rural development department then informed the state that Rs 300 crore would be slashed from the NREGA funds allotted last year. The matter was formally discussed in the ongoing session of the autonomous district council today.

Even though the slashing of MGNREGA funds immediately became a major issue, the matter was formally discussed in the ongoing session of the autonomous district council (ADC) today.

The ADC’s executive member in charge of education and rural development department Radha Charan Debbarma said the slashing of MGNREGA fund would lead to serious deprivation of the tribals and other depressed classes in the state.

“As it is out of 10 crores of tribal people in the country only seventeen percent have got MGNREGA job cards; in Tripura coverage of people under MGNREGA is better than all other state and that is why Tripura has won first prizes for many years in a row for best implementation of MGNREGA; this scheme must be implemented fully with a revision of BPL list,” said Radha Charan.

Several other members in the council session also protested the slashing of MGNREGA funds and threatened to paralyse the state demanding higher allocations.

Apart from this, the issue of fund-slashing is being taken up at higher political level by the state with Centre. In a review meeting of MGNREGA implementation yeterday it was decided that the minister for rural development Naresh Jamatya with three MPs from the state, Jiten Chowdhury and Shankar Prasad Dutta from Loksabha and Jharna Das Baidya of Rajya Sabha will meet the  union rural development minister to press for higher allocation on MGNREGA.

Speaking to media persons the minister for rural development Naresh Jamatya said that till in the 2013-2-14 financial year Tripura had received Rs 418 crore but in the current financial year the state has received only Rs 210 crores till the third week of August.

“The Centre has informed us that Rs 300 crores will be slashed from the current financial year’s allocation; if it really happens there will be adverse impact on the poor people of the state; our allocation in the current financial year initially is Rs 1406 crores and we will press centre to keep the amount intact,” said Naresh.


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