Agartala, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday assured Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb of financial assistance for the implementation of 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC) for state government employees and completion of ongoing development projects.
Deb met the Union finance minister at the North Block yesterday and sought a special package of Rs 1500 Cr for implementation of 7th CPC and Rs 358.70 Cr for completing 81 existing projects.
“These projects got held up in between, as most of them were initiated with political motive, diverting funds from one project to another, without proper planning and assessment of utility during the left front government,” Deb said, adding that the unfinished projects had become burden for the government.
The chief minister told the finance minister that the PWD and other departments in the state have piled up more than Rs 600 crore of contractor bills in the last few years.”The Manik Sarkar led government did not pay those bills and left office with financial liability of more than Rs 11,500 crore and Rs 1600 crore deficit, and are left to face the situation,”he added.
According to officials, after an hour long meeting between the two leaders, Jaitley assured that the central government would extend all possible help for the development of the state.
Later in the evening, Deb met Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan and forwarded his demand for procurement of 2.5 lakh MT rice, required to operate the PDS of Tripura from the state itself in order to ensure the farmers get minimum support price fixed by the Centre.
“Paswanji has in-principal agreed to the demand and said a team of Food Corporation of India (FCI) will soon visit the state to fix the modalities,” the chief minister informed.
He said if paddy is procured locally, transportation costs will be reduced, which is much higher currently as Tripura gets its rice for PDS from Punjab and Haryana, and added that this will widen the scope of employment in ancillary activities in Tripura.
He pointed out that the total rice production in the state is 8.5 lakh MT and annual rice requirement for PDS is only about one-third of it. The Centre spends about Rs 525 crore to provide PDS rice to our state. “If this rice is procured from our state, the money can go directly to the farmers of Tripura,” he stressed.