Just being special

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 11/28/2018 12:25:32 PM IST

 It is obvious that Nagaland would need a good dose of special financial assistance from the Centre in order to sail past the critical financial crisis stage. This was reflected in the memorandum submitted by the state government to the visiting 15th Finance Commission team in Kohima on November 27. The deficit that was pegged at around Rs.1400 crore till 2017 has risen by around Rs.180 crore and stands at around Rs.1630 crore. The state government has appealed for a one-time grant-cum-waiver of Rs.2864.18 crore in order to get the state back on the rails of recovery. The 15th FC will have to look beyond its brief to suggest how the demands could be met. It is difficult to foresee any major shift in the recommendations of the FFC for Nagaland given the fact, that its role would be limited to the guidelines set for it. The planning would focus on demography and the GDP of a state and also linking outlays to outputs and outcomes. Demands for restoring the ‘special category’ status has been echoed by various tribe organisations in their representation to the 15th FC team in Kohima. On the other hand, the principle of the Modi government has been to view the “Special Category” status of various states with a “Multi-dimensional index”. The obvious conclusion would indicate that the onus would be on performance merit rather than on the “Special Category” merit. Development rests on basic infrastructural foundations such as good roads, efficient power supply and honest implementation of programmes and schemes meant to benefit the majority of people. The Centre has made infrastructure as a priority in order to enable the wheels of development move unhindered. One of the big drawbacks for Nagaland is its bloated work force pegged at around 1.4 lakhs approximately for a population of around 19 lakhs. This would mean that around 7.4 % of the population are government employees cornering around 60% of the budget and leaving 92% with only 40% of the resources. The gap is too huge and needs serious contemplation and action. In simple economic parlance, it can be described as too much for too few. It also means that the government is eating up a huge slice meant for the people. This has created a class of nouveau rich of bureaucrats and political class on one side and a small share for the fortunate few enjoying political patronage. The state government has to be accountable for the dismal power situation and the deplorable road conditions. What is needed is cutting down on losses and unnecessary and wasteful expenditure. Another revelation on how precious resources are being siphoned comes from recent revelations in the media about alleged irregularities/scams in the issuance of Drawal Authority(DA) from the finance department to various departments. It may be recalled that the organisations such as –ACAUT Nagaland, NPRAAF, NTC and CNTC – have exposed how funds to various government departments have been allotted twice for the same project, amount and place. It is quite strange that even after nearly 15 years during which the state received huge funds from the Centre, the state hasn’t been able to show any visible signs of having progressed. States like Manipur, Meghalaya or Mizoram have received almost equal if not, slightly lesser amount but the infrastructures are visible-excellent roads, steady power supply, water supply and other basic amenities. One need only to look around who have the best cars, houses, cash and land to know who has been developed in Nagaland. 

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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