New Delhi: Northeastern states on Thursday strongly pitched for higher allocation of central funds for various developments projects, saying additional resources would accelerate growth and improve infrastructure in the remote region.
Addressing the 57th meeting of the National Development Council, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said success depends not merely on introduction of new schemes but consistent emphasis on better implementation, institution strengthening, lesser wastage of resources and attitudinal change.
"Apart from the continuation of the flagship programmes, there should be a 'Flexible Fund' with at least 50 per cent of the total amount allocated as additional central assistance for various central schemes.
"This will allow states to tailor the implementation patterns as per local needs," he said.
In his address, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar criticised the Centre's Direct Cash Transfer scheme in lieu of subsidies saying it "conforms to the World Bank's prescription" and will add to the miseries of the poor people.
Justifying his argument, Sarkar said "even though the government has on occasions assured that cash payments would be indexed to prices, there will necessarily be lags in revising the magnitude of payments."
Accusing the Centre of not providing adequate support to the agriculture sector, he also criticised the decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail. He said opening up of stores by multinational retail giants will affect livelihood of the millions of small traders and peasants.
Sarkar said the per capita calorie intake in the country has been decreasing and said the Planning Commission's argument that the decline in foodgrain intake and the associated decline in calorie intake was because of change in taste among people, cannot be accepted.


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