Declare financial emergency in Tripura, demands Congress

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

AGARTALA - Tripura’s main opposition Congress Tuesday urged the United Progressive Alliance-led (UPA) central government to declare “financial emergency” in Left-ruled state as the state government has made itself bankrupt.

“Due to massive mismanagement and corruption, there is no financial stability in Tripura. Hence, under the Article 360 of the Indian constitution, the union government should declare urgent financial emergency,” opposition leader Ratan Lal Nath told reporters.

According to him, emergency audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) is urgently required to save the people of Tripura.

Nath, accompanied by veteran Congress leader Tapas Dey, claimed that the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front government since 2008 has diverted Rs.270 crore to party politburo fund.

“Before coming to the power in 1978, the CPI-M had only 37 party offices, now it has more than 690 party offices and built them with government money,” Nath claimed.

Explaining details about the misconduct of central grants and financial plan of the state, he said that if the state government performed better in spending budgetary allocations, it could get more financial share from the UPA government following the award of the 13th Finance Commission.

Demanding publication of a white paper about the financial position of the state government, the Congress leader said that in terms of volume of loan to the state from the central government and various other financial institutions the per head credit is now Rs.19,500 in Tripura which has a total population of 3.8 million.

Strongly refuting the Congress allegations, CPI-M’s Tripura state secretary Bijon Dhar has asked the opposition leader to prove the allegation or to apologies to the people for “making wild accusation against the Left party.”

“The CPI-M has been collecting funds from the people as and when necessary, never misused money from the government exchequer for party politics,” said Dhar, who is also member of the CPI-M central committee.

Nath blamed Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, his cabinet colleagues and top party leaders for “misguiding the people of Tripura”. Nath said the union government has not imposed a blanket ban on fresh recruitment.

Showing a circular of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the Tripura opposition leader said there is no restriction in filling vacant posts in the government departments in the education and health sectors in Jammu and Kashmir and northeastern states.

Tripura Finance Minister Badal Chaudhury earlier told reporters that the Finance Commission did not follow its own formula while recommending allocation of funds for the state government employees’ salary and pension.

“Again, the union finance ministry does not follow the Planning Commission’s method and recommendations on open market borrowing for the state governments,” he said.

“In view of the unsubstantiated recommendations of the Finance Commission, the resource-starved northeastern states have been facing severe financial crisis,” the minister said.

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