"The contention of the Central government is that increasing the devolution of central taxes to 42 percent to the special category states is enough. Therefore, they have withdrawn the special block grants," Sangma said, replying to a calling attention motion given notice by opposition leader Donkupar Roy.

Sangma, who also holds the finance portfolio, said the withdrawal of the special block grants was like setting the same benchmark for the north-eastern states as that for the developed states.

The Central government decided to accept the recommendation of the 14th Finance Commission, which gives states 42 percent of the central taxes from 2015-16 onwards, as against 32 percent suggested by the previous commission.

Since higher devolution took into account all needs of the states, the Central government reasoned, the sops for special category states like the northeastern states could be withdrawn.

Successive governments in the past had understood the complexity of the problems faced by the north-eastern states and the "huge gap in respect of development of this region and with the rest of the country", Sangma said.

"There will be no other special dispensation left for the states of the North East to be able to have additional resources for various developmental programmes to be able to catch up with the rest of the country after the withdrawal of the special block grants," he said.

Addressing the Opposition members, he said the withdrawal of special funds did not have anything to do with the state being ruled by a Congress government.

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