The Telegraph
Wednesday , November 27 , 2013

Meghalaya seeks financial aid

- Proposal for Rs 50000 crore to meet non-Plan expenditure

Shillong, Nov. 26: The Meghalaya government today sought Rs 50,000 crore from 14th Finance Commission, including a pre-devolution of Rs 35,000 crore to the state.

The staggering amount has been projected for five years from 2015 to 2020 during a meeting between officials of the state government led by chief minister Mukul Sangma and the 14th Finance Commission headed by former Reserve Bank of India governor Y.V. Reddy at the state secretariat here.

After the meeting, the chief minister told reporters that the proposed amount submitted to the commission was to meet non-Plan expenditure and infrastructural gap in the state.

According to Sangma, the overall award sought from the commission was to cover the basic needs of the state. These include the upgrade of infrastructure and maintenance of roads, which will enable the state to complete various projects which have been delayed because of cost and time overrun. The fund is also expected to cover non-Plan expenses incurred by the state because of normalisation of 11,000 government posts.

The non-Plan amount required in the state’s normalisation of 11,000 government posts is around Rs 1,987 crore.

Pre-devolution, which is a gap between revenue and expenditure, worked out to Rs 35,000 crore and the amount will come to the state as grants and shares of central taxes among other transfers for five years from 2015 onwards.

Stating that various challenges and problems faced by the state were discussed with the commission, Sangma said special areas that require specific award from the commission were also mentioned, such as expenses for creation of state disaster mitigation and management authority, state disaster management force, implementation of the national food security scheme, liabilities of the state in pension scheme, establishment of courts, besides the commitment made under the education sector and implementation of pay under university grant commission scale.

He also said the state needed financial support of the commission in creating infrastructure in the four newly created districts and to implement the integrated basin development and livelihood programme.

“During the discussion, we have asked the commission to consider and keep in mind the various challenges and problems being faced by the state,” Sangma said.

Reddy, along with other members of the commission, arrived here for a two-day meeting with the state government.

The commission tomorrow will also interact with chief executive members of the three autonomous district councils, chief executive officers of municipal boards and leaders of various political parties in the state.

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