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Meghalaya urges FC to grant peace dividend
Correspondent SHILLONG, APR 29:
Published on 30 Apr. 2009 12:09 AM IST
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Meghalaya government has urged the 13th Finance Commission to raise state’s grants for development and welfare schemes, besides urging the commission to grant peace dividend of Rs 500 crore for the state, official said on Wednesday. The state also requested the commission to provide for a non-plan revenue grant of Rs.11, 943 crore which includes the additional salary liability which would arise out of the Meghalaya Fourth Pay Commission recommendations. The total amount requested from the 13th Finance Commission to cover the Non-Plan revenue gap and grants for maintenance, upgradation, State Specific needs etc, works out to Rs 19,094 crore. The members of the 13th Finance Commission headed by BK Chaturvedi held interaction with the state government, political parties and other NGOs with the Memorandum submitted to the Commission for devolution of Central taxes and award of grants during the period 2010-2015. Official sources said the government has also requested for up gradation and maintenance grants for 29 departments amounting to Rs 2, 979 crore, besides demanding specific grants for converting Semi Permanent Timber bridges into two lane RCC bridges, Bio diversity conservation, and infrastructure for horticulture, water conservation, treatment of catchment’s areas, animal husbandry and veterinary expansion, and capacity building, skill enhancement and training totaling to Rs 846 crore. Claiming that the state has increased forest cover and that the per capita forest availability in the state was significantly higher than the National average, the government asked the Commission to provide a Green Dividend of Rs 2, 200 crore for maintenance of green cover. Officials said the government urged the Commission to provide the state with the peace dividend for managing to stay peacefully in difficult circumstances for which an amount of Rs 500 crore has been proposed. An amount of Rs 60 crore has also been requested for maintenance of Capital assets of urban local bodies and to recommend sufficient grants to enable the Autonomous District Councils to fulfill their constitutional obligations. The commission was also informed about the plan posts created in the earlier Five Year Plans which have not been normalised. The commission was requested to provide Rs 566 crore for transferring the accumulated liabilities of these posts from the Plan to the Non-Plan account of the State Budget. In the memorandum submitted to the 12th Finance Commission in 2004, Meghalaya had requested for grants amounting to Rs 14,080 crore, and the commission had recommended Rs 4,368 crore.

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