Tripura: Fund crisis grips TTAADC, Govt approves only 11% of budget proposals
File image: TTAADC Tripura

Agartala: The Tribal Council Areas of Tripura have been facing financial constraints, with the state government allegedly deviating the flow of funds owing to conflict of “political interests”.

Officials said the district council areas are still in deficit of Rs 56 crore payable to its employees as salary.

Executive Officer, Finance, Ramkrishna Debbarma said, “The TTAADC Council had passed a budget proposal of around Rs 5,500 crore and as per the norms forwarded it to the state government. But, the state government only approved Rs 619 crore for the whole TTAADC areas. And, till May 31, an amount of Rs 115 crore has been released from the end of state government.”

On being asked about the previous allocations, Debbarma said, “In the last financial year, the state government allocated Rs 584 crore for ADC areas. In the present financial year, the allocation was increased a bit, but what we have received so far is inadequate. We have a deficit of Rs 56 crore for payment of salaries of the employees.”

Pradyot Kishore Debbarman, Chairman of the ruling TIPRA Motha of Tripura Tribal Areas District Council said, “The TTAADC has been perpetually deprived of funds. If compared, the rate of increase in funds stands around 3 percent, while the inflation rate has crossed 8 percent. Technically speaking, the TTAADC’s growth is progressing in a negative trajectory.”

On the other hand, he said, the state budget has been increased by about 40 percent. “The state budget was a little above Rs 21,000 crore last year, which has seen a whopping increase of 40 percent. This year the state assembly has passed a Rs 26,000 crore budget for the whole year. It clearly shows the difference,” Debbarman pointed out.    

Justifying his statement, Debbarma said, “From the approved Rs 619 crore, Rs 200 crore is for the salary of Tripura government staff serving deputation here in District Council. And, the remaining money is not enough for the development of such a vast geographical area.”

Debbarman also alleged that the state government had also withheld the royalty that TTAADC gets from ONGC and Transport. “We get Rs 40 to 50 crore from ONGC as royalty every year. We also get a handsome amount from the transport department. The state government has already received the money but they are not releasing the ADC’s share,” he added.

He said that the TTAADC is not being given the department-wise allocations as well. “Tribal Welfare is one of the key departments of the TTAADC. In this financial year, not a single rupee is allocated for Tribal Welfare. For over 960 kilometers of roads that come under the PWD department of the ADC areas, we have received Rs 3 crore 50 lakh. I have strong doubts whether we can construct two kilometers of good roads with that funds.”      

Reacting on the issue, Opposition Leader of the TTAADC council Hansa Kumar Tripura said, “The state government is very serious about the tribal-dominated areas of the state. And, it is not necessary to give money directly to the ADC administration for development.”

“Several initiatives have been undertaken by the state government to address the perennial problems like water crisis, connectivity and electrification of villages that were ignored by the previous Left Front government,” he added.

He said, “The state government has paved the way for additional funds for the Panchayat bodies through 15th Finance Commission. A number of schemes launched by state and Centre are being implemented simultaneously for the development of areas that fall under the jurisdiction of TTAADC.”

“The ADC administration may complain, but the fact is the present government is multiple times better than the Left Front. We shall soon make public the details of funds released by the state government for TTAADC,” said Tripura. 

Also read: Tripura different from Delhi, Bengal: Congress tells AAP, Trinamool

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