Agartala, Jan 18, 2021, ENEWSTIME Desk
Deputy Chief Minister of Tripura Jishnu Dev Varma who also holds the Finance portfolio placed wish list to the Union Finance Minister urging fund allocations for infrastructure, social sector etc. in upcoming Union Budget.
Attending a Pre-Budget Meeting with Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held on Monday in the Conference Room of Secretariat Building through Video Conference, Dev Varma presented the views of Govt. of Tripura.
In the VC, Dev Varma requested the Union Finance Minister to incorporate several important suggestions including increasing social pension and pay of ASHA workers, increasing Budgetary allocation for NEC and DoNER for speeding up for development in North East. Dev Varma also requested Sitharaman to continue with the Special assistance for Infrastructure creation from the Central Government of Rs 200 crore.
Pointing out the shortfall of share of Central Taxes of Rs 2636 crore during 2020-21, Dev Varma said, the trend of devolution of share of central taxes during current fiscal indicates that it will be much less than the amount as per interim recommendation of 15th Finance Commission. For the small state like Tripura which has a narrow resource base, it is difficult to meet this shortfall from its own resources.
In view of the present situation, Dev Varma requested that there had to be provision for providing special assistance to fill up the gap due to less receipt of share of Central taxes.
In the wake of Covid pandemic and the need to expedite development in the Autonomous district Council area, the deputy Chief Minister sought a special financial package for the 6th Schedule area (TTAADC).
Dev Varma also said, as per the recommendations of the 13th Finance Commission, Government of India used to provide maintenance grants. But from the 14th Finance Commission onwards, there is no provision for such maintenance grants. Therefore, many capital assets like roads and buildings are getting damaged due to lack of adequate maintenance.
In case of PMGSY roads, maintenance is done up to 5 years after completion. But, after 5 years, the onus of maintenance of such roads lies on the State Government. In Tripura, there are about 2550 KM roads under PMGSY, which were constructed minimum 5 (five) years back or earlier and now such roads are getting damaged due to lack of adequate maintenance. It is requested to provide maintenance grants for upkeep of all such assets created in the state.
Besides, he made a request for continuation of Special assistance for Infrastructure Creation Fund from Central Government of Rs. 200 Cr. The deputy Chief Minister also urged Sitharaman to alter the funding pattern of Externally Aided Project (EAP) Projects from existing 80:20 pattern to 90:10 share between Centre and State.