Central government ignoring Tripura: Minister
Agartala: The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has been providing financial aid and support to state governments led by the Congress and its allies, depriving the governments led by opposition parties, a minister of Tripura's Left Front government said here on Tuesday.
"The UPA government recently decided to provide huge financial support to Trinamool Congress-led West Bengal government, but it is yet to respond to the Tripura government's demand for Rs.14,600 crore," Tripura Finance Minister Badal Choudhury told reporters.
Choudhury, also a member of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) central committee, asked, "If the central government provides support and grants financial assistance on political consideration, how would the federal structure of India's governance be strengthened."
The minister referred to the recent central government decision to give financial package of Rs.21,614 crore to Trinamool Congress-Congress West Bengal government. "We are not unhappy with this. The Centre should also respond to our demand positively," he said.
The Left Front government in Tripura recently demanded a financial aid of Rs.14,600 crore to deal with the fiscal crisis.
According to the minister, in view of the 13th Finance Commission's (TFC) erroneous recommendations, the resource-starved northeastern state had been facing unprecedented financial crisis.
Tripura sought around Rs.27,000 crore but the TFC, constituted for a period of five years from 2010-15, recommended the sanction of about Rs.16,350 crore in 2009. The TFC report was accepted by the centre last year after a discussion in parliament.
"To cope with the unprecedented financial crisis, the state government recently sought Rs.14,600 crore as advance special plan assistance (SPA) and interest free loan in the remaining period of the TFC (until 2014-15 financial year)," said Choudhury.
The TFC, headed by renowned economist Vijay L Kelkar, favoured resourceful states and deprived small states facing crunch, the minister said.
The Tripura government published a 'white paper' (a report) on the deprivation of the TFC.
The 40-page 'white paper' - government's perspective report on the fiscal crisis - said the TFC failed to appreciate the need for higher level of government employment in Tripura necessitated due to the militancy since 1990.
The main opposition Congress with an eye on the state assembly election in early 2013 has demanded an emergency audit of the Tripura government's accounts by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) following alleged "financial irregularities and indiscipline".
Opposition leader Ratan Lal Nath said that the Left Front government had been challenging parliament and a constitutional body like the TFC.