Guwahati, Saturday, June 19, 2010
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Nagaland plan outlay fixed at Rs 1,500 cr
Correspondent
 DIMAPUR, June 18 – The final plan outlay of Nagaland for the year 2010-11, which had been kept in abeyance, has been finalised at Rs 1,500 crore with the Centre agreeing to foot the salary shortfall amounting to a whopping Rs 712 crore.

Briefing the media at Dimapur Airport on arrival from New Delhi, Chief Minister Niephiu Rio said the State had agreed to the same plan size as the past year since the Centre had agreed to address the salary shortfall.

“I accepted the plan size of Rs 1,500 crore, exactly the size of 2009-10, taking into consideration the fact that the scheme of financing this plan size fully absorbs the shortfall in salary expenditure provision,” Rio stated adding, “But for the problem of salary, the plan size for 2010-11 would have been Rs 2,212 crore, an increase by about 47.47 per cent.”

The CM further went on record to state that a larger plan size has been sacrificed to pave way to meet the demand of the employees for salary revision and also avoid the unpleasant course of retrenching about 36,000 employees which was implied by the normative approach adopted by the 13th Finance Commission.

“With the Prime Minister, Finance Minister and Planning Commission graciously agreeing to address salary expenditure paving way to give notional effect to RoP from June 1, 2008, there was no more room to ask for bigger plan size,” he said.

The shortfall that the Centre has agreed to take care of is Rs 712 crore – that being the amount of Rs 632 crore for the release of RoP with effect from April 1, 2010, including the additional Rs 80 crore being the offer of the State Government to the employees to give notional effect to RoP from June 1, 2008.

He informed that the Cabinet would be sitting on June 21 to work out sectoral allocations to departments. He, moreover, said the State planning machinery is mulling the step of taking respective Tribal Hohos as members of the District Planning and Development Boards (DPDB) and that a discussion to change the guidelines paving way for such a measure was expected to take place during the Cabinet meeting.

On the CM’s East Zone conference called by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on June 14 at Patna, Rio said he had taken up the issue of poor banking in the State.

The State’s CD ratio lingers at 34:35 per cent compared to national average of 74 per cent, he said. This was a result of failure to extend banking to all people, he opined.

With 21 unbanked blocks still existing in the State, Rio said he had taken up the matter to make Village Development Boards the nodal connecting agencies in extending banking facilities to the rural poor. The banks can extend loan facilities through the VDBs who, in return, can act as guarantors and assist in loan recovery too, he said.

The Chief Minister was accompanied by Planning Minister TR Zeliang, Deputy Planning chairman Neiba Kronu, MLA Deo Nukhu and Development Commissioner Alemtemshi Jamir.

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