Centre rejects Tarun Gogoi's claim, says 'substantial funds' released

Substantial assistance to the state government for flood relief and rehabilitation measures: Centre

New Delhi: The Centre today contested Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi's statement that not a single penny was given to his state for flood relief and management, saying "substantial funds" had been released or sanctioned and the onus of executing plans and creating assets with the state government which apparently had not been done.

The Centre countered Gogoi's argument by listing the steps taken by it in the wake of last year's floods and the funds sanctioned or released at various stages under various heads to the state. Referring to Gogoi's statement, sources in the central government said today, "Nothing can be more far from the truth."

The central government has provided substantial assistance to the state government for flood relief and rehabilitation measures, they said. According to the sources, the central government has provided short term as well as long term assistance to the state to deal with the flood problem.

"While substantial funds have been sanctioned/released by the central government, the onus of careful execution and asset creation lies with the state government," they said. Giving details, the sources said ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each was sanctioned to the next of kin in each death case and Rs 50,000 for every serious injury case was approved by the Prime Minister under the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF) for the floods in Assam in July and August, 2014. Thus Rs 170 lakh was released to the state government in respect of 85 death cases "but it is not yet known whether the state government has disbursed this amount to the needy beneficiaries.

The Utilization Certificates (UCs) for all the 85 PMNRF cases are yet to be received", the sources said. Further, considering the floods in July and August last year in Assam, the central government had deputed a high level Inter-Ministerial Team to visit flood-affected areas of the state, they said adding the team is expected to submit its report soon.

During the current financial year, the central government has also released Rs 288 crore as on date, including the Rs 144 crore released on October 1, last year, the sources said. "But state government has apparently not released this amount under SDRF to the affected districts. It has not even submitted UCs for the earlier releases.

"It is apparent that the state government has not utilised even the central funds available with it under State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF)," they said. Being a northeast state, the central government contributes 90 per cent share to SDRF of Assam, while the state government has to contribute 10 per cent fund.

( Source : PTI )
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