Guwahati: Assam Finance Minister, Ajanta Neog said on Tuesday that financial inflow to the state from the Centre has increased after the withdrawal of special category state status to it.

She also said that the state government has been availing loans from different sources as per the parameters set by the government of India and within its capacity to repay.

Neog was responding to a query by Independent legislator Akhil Gogoi during the question hour in the state Assembly as to whether cash flow to the state for different developmental schemes has been affected after the withdrawal of special state status.

She said, The change has only been in terms of nomenclature. In fact, we have been receiving more funds than before.

She also said there was no need for any proposal for according the special category status to Assam again as more funds have been coming into the state compared to the period when the state was under it.

To a question by Gogoi seeking clarification whether the state was receiving block grant at present, the minister said the funds that were given under it previously are now being allotted under different heads.

There has been no financial loss for the state, Neog added.

On allegations against the government of increasing borrowings to meet various expenses, the finance minister said, We have been taking loans are per the government of India parameters and within our repayment capacity. In fact, we have taken lesser loans than that we are eligible for.

Neog in her reply submitted in the House to Gogoi’s question further said that central assistance for schemes that were under block grant previously is now received either as regular grants from the Centre or through allocation made under the 14th Finance Commission.

In reply to a written question by AIUDF legislator Aminul Islam, she said the state has received Rs 936.73 crore as loan from the Centre in the last six years from 2015-2021.

The loan burden of the state as on March 31, 2021, as per pre-actual estimates is Rs 82741.07 crore, the Assam finance minister said.

Moreover, the state has paid Rs 22269.94 crore as interest against loan in the last six fiscals from 2015-16, she said.

To another question by Congress MLA Nurul Huda, the minister in her written reply said the state has received Rs 8611.62 crore in the form of GST in 2020-21.

The amounts for the preceding two years was Rs 8402.3 crore (in 2018-19) and Rs 8755.30 crore (in 2019-20), she added.

Also read: Gauhati HC restrains Assam govt from evicting 244 villagers in Darrang

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