NPCC hits back with more figures

Dimapur, February 26 (MExN): The Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) has brushed aside the “clarification” issued by Toshi Aier, Additional Chief Secretary to the Chief Minister stating a number of points related to finance of the state. Giving more figures contradicting the government’s response the Congress said, “The only achievement that the DAN government can claim is landing the state into huge debt trap.”
“The nature of response was more political than administrative. This is not the first time that a government of his stature and position had failed to understand the extent of his brief and issued political statement on behalf of the DAN government,” NPCC chief SI Jamir stated in the response.   
On the construction of the chief minister’s official residence, the NPCC challenged, “If the cost of official residence is only one third of the Raj Bhavan, the total cost involved for construction of Raj Bhavan should be made public. The DAN government should also disclose the total estimated cost of the chief minister’s residence which includes the residential office and the guest house.
On the state’s negative BCR, the NPCC said it does not make any difference whether the figure was Rs.781.89 crore or Rs.770.15 crore with the discrepancy at meager Rs.11.74 crore.  “However, the NPCC stands by the figure of the CLP which is the latest figure quoted from a reliable source,” the opposition said.  
 
Stale figures   
On loan component, the Congress said none other than the Additional Chief Secretary himself provided the figure of Rs. 8093.62 in his letter dated July 2, 2010 to the Secretary of the NLA Secretariat. It was in reply to a starred question raised by Tokheho, leader of opposition of the 3rd session of the tenth assembly and of the 6th session of the eleventh assembly answered on March 12, 2009 and March 25, 2010 respectively.
The NPCC explained: “It was furnished in his reply that, out of a total Rs. 150552.03 Lakhs borrowed up to 31st March 2010, Rs. 69625.99 Lakh only was repaid. The net balance shown stood at Rs. 80936.29 Lakhs (Rs. 8093.62 crores). It may be mentioned that, while the total borrowing figure cumulative from the inception of the State (1963) stood at Rs. 1,50,552.03 Lakhs, the total between 2003 – 04 to 2009 – 10 was a staggering Rs. 1,03,524.50 indicating that more than two-thirds of the borrowing from 1963 to 2010 was during the DAN government. For public information, the net borrowing ceiling for the State as permitted by GoI is Rs. 270 crore for 2010 – 11 and Rs. 412 crore for 2011 – 12.”
The NPCC remarked that the “DAN government had obviously sought permission to borrow more as the question of granting permission would not arise unless sought for.” At this rate, the Congress leader said, the only achievement that the DAN government can claim is landing the state into huge debt trap.
The Government of India has been liberally releasing Special Plan Assistance (SPA) to the state to cover gaps in financial resources to meet the objectives of annual plans, the Congress said. “The Addl. CS to CM had tried to mislead the public that, out of Rs. 500 cr. sought by the state government to meet the Annual Plan 2010 – 11, the GoI had released Rs. 223.36 cr. only on 16.01.2011 while, Rs. 276.64 cr. is yet to be released,” Jamir said.
 Irrespective of whether a state is a special category state or not, the NPCC stated, “release of SPA is based on its proper utilization and not as a matter of constitutional obligation by the Union government.”
On retirement of government employees affected by the Nagaland Retirement from Public Employment (Second Amendment) Act 2009, the Congress said the ACS to CM had alleged that the figures were inflated.
“As per reliable source, the total number of retired employees up-to-date in education department alone accounted for 1100 approximately. Therefore, the figures of 7000 plus being affected could not be far from truth. However, if the figures projected by the CLP were inflated as alleged, the state government should come out clearly with up-to-date figures at the earliest to remove all misgivings and to prove its tall claim on transparency.”
As for the non-payment of monetary benefits to the retired employees, the Congress added, the plight of the affected people bears the testimony.