The uncertainty whether special category state status still applies to Assam or not, was brought to an end today with State Finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma acknowledging in the House on Monday that the term ‘special category status’ has been replaced by ‘special treatment’, as termed by the BJP government at the Centre. Sarma however maintained that Assam would not suffer in matters of financial help from the Central government due to the nomenclature.
Sarma advocated on Monday to proceed with a censure motion against former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for causing temporary damage to the state to the State by agreeing to the 14th Finance Commission’s proposal of increasing the share of States in central taxes from 32 per cent to 42 per cent. “Let us move a censure motion against Manmohan Singh for repeated violation of Assam’s interest. Knowingly or unknowingly, Manmohan Singh did some temporary damage to Assam,” Sarma said during a meeting on Special Category Status to the state.
Replying to a question about the cancellation of the Special Category State status, in the state assembly Sarma asked for some time to deliver the changes promised. The two month old BJP government came into power based on the promises of development in Assam.
Sarma said that the nomenclature doesn’t matter, as Assam continues to enjoy “Special Treatment” in regards to Central funds. He said that, amongst the 112 Central schemes being implemented, at least 48 have 100 per cent Central funding, while another 58 are being run on the 90-10 pattern, with the State Government’s contribution at a mere 10 per cent. Three of these schemes have a 80-20 funding pattern, one has 70-30 and two others are shared equally by the state and the centre.