PDA ‘parked’ Rs. 96 cr alleges NPF

PDA ‘parked’ Rs. 96 cr alleges NPF
TR Zeliang and Imkong L Imchen addressing the media. (NP)
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, JAN 5 (NPN) | Publish Date: 1/5/2019 11:43:53 AM IST


Leader of Opposition (LoO) and former chief minister , T.R. Zeliang has accused the ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP)-led People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) government, of having allegedly “parked” Rs. 96 crore, Grant-in-Aid (GiA), meant for Village Development Boards (VDBs) and also allegedly misled the people on the issue of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016.

Zeliang said while addressing media persons in his Dimapur office wherein he accused the state government of not releasing Rs. 96 crore meant for every household in the villages across the state.

Zeliang said that NITI Aayog had on November 8, 2017, released an additional grant-in-aid amounting to Rs. 185.09 crore for Nagaland. According, as per laid down guidelines, he said a High Level Committee (HLC), under the chairmanship of the state chief secretary, was constituted by Governor of Nagaland on December 13, 2017.

The opposition leader claimed that the HLC approved release of Rs.96 crore out of the total amount of Rs, 185.09 crore as grant-in-aid for Nagaland for the years – 2015-2016, 2016-2017 and 2018-2019. He said the HLC finalised the allocation and sub-allocation of the grant on January 17, 2018. Zeliang pointed out that the fund for 2017-2018 was released by the then NPF-led DAN government.

However, he said the then NPF government could not release the grant-in-aid since the model code of conduct came into effect following announcement of State Assembly Elections 2018 by Election Commission of India (ECI) on January 18, 2018.

After the new government took over in March following the declaration of results, the former chief minister said the finance department had released Rs. 185.09 crore to Rural Development (RD) department. However, he alleged that the NDPP-led PDA government has not released the grant-in-aid to the VDBs of the state.

According to the opposition leader, 100% of the fund should have been released to the VDBs immediately after the formation of the government, where each household was entitled to Rs. 1000 but today stood deprived of what was due to them by the PDA government.

“When central government has released the fund and all procedures have been completed on January 2018, what is the difficulty of the department or government to release the money to the deserving beneficiaries?,” asked Zeliang.

The opposition leader also asked “Who has looted this Rs. 96 crore due to VDB?” . He also added “I feel sad for the innocent villagers because they do not know what is due to them”.

Zeliang also accused the PDA government of violating the set guidelines and not allocating sub-allocation funds to various departments as finalised by HLC but releasing it arbitrarily without consulting the committee constituted by Governor of Nagaland.

The opposition leader demanded to know from the government as to why the decision of the HLC constituted by the governor has been overlooked. He has called upon the governor to take cognizance of the alleged irregularity.

Firing a fresh salvo at the government on the issue of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, the former chief minister lamented that the issue was not discussed in state assembly and then the cabinet came out with a vague decision on June 5, 2018.

Zeliang demanded that the government of the day should clarify to the people on what ground it has decided not to oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 when other tribal inhabited states including Assam have opposed the Bill.

In this regard, Zeliang informed that he had written to Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on July 16, 2018 seeking clarification on the cabinet decision regarding the matter. However, Zeliang revealed that there has been no response to his query from the chief minister.

Zeliang slammed the NDPP-led PDA government of setting a bad precedence in not replying to queries posed by the opposition. He also said the PDA government should not only reply to the opposition but also to the Naga people on why it has not opposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, that was a threat on the citizens.

Also speaking to the media, Imkong Imchen, MLA, said the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 was “negatively determining factor for the survival of the Naga people”.

Referring to cabinet decision on the issue, Imchen said the cabinet’s view that Nagaland is protected under Article 371(A) of the Constitution and the Inner Line Permit regulations, was “an insult to the intellect of the Naga people”.

He opined that Article 371 (A) cannot override “Union Law” but if Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 is passed by the parliament then the bill will override Article 371 (A).

“Even if Naga people protest against the Bill after it becomes an Act then we cannot do anything. It will be against the ILP, the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations, 1873”, warned Imchen.

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