Walk the talk on special category status: Meghalaya CM to Centre

Shillong, Sep 17 (IANS) Deriding the central government over its non-committal stance on special category status to northeastern states, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Thursday asked it to walk the talk on restoring the status for the region’s states.

“What the government of India or what its leadership is speaking in respect of northeast that they will take a special care for northeast must be demonstrated through action. As there is a saying that action must be commensurate to the word,” Sangma said in the Meghalaya assembly.

Sangma was replying to a volley of queries asked by opposition United Democratic Party legislator Jemino Mawthoh on the “Special Category Status” of Meghalaya.

Sangma informed the assembly that the state government was yet to receive any communication from the Centre indicating the withdrawal of the “Special Category Status”.

“The Union Budget of 2015-16 has restructured funding of the centrally sponsored schemes by stopping funding for eight schemes, changing funding pattern for 14 schemes, and continuing 31 schemes in existing manner,” he said.

Moreover, he said there was “apprehension” about doing away with the 90:10 funding pattern among the northeastern states.

Sangma informed the house that the chief ministers of the northeastern states have collectively raised the issue with the central government, asking it not to de-recognise the “Special Category Status” to the states in the region as it would hamper development projects.

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