Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma proposed on Monday to move a censure motion against former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for “knowingly or unknowingly” causing “temporary damage” to the state by adopting some policies.
“Let us move a censure motion against Manmohan Singh for repeated violation of Assam’s interest. Knowingly or unknowingly, Manmohan Singh did some temporary damage to Assam,” Sarma said during a discussion on Special Category Status to the state.
He cited the example of oil royalty issue and the 14th Finance Commission to justify his allegation.
“It was the 14th Finance Commission, constituted by Manmohan Singh and not Narendra Modi, which recommended that there should be no difference between Special and non-Special Category Status states,” Sarma said.
The UPA government, under the leadership of Manmohan Singh, had also acted against the interest of Assam in oil royalty issue, he said.
Sarma said the current central government and later the Gauhati high court had asked the PSU oil companies to pay royalty to Assam on pre-discounted price with effect from January 1, 2014.
The minister reiterated his stand that Assam continued to get all the benefits of Special Category Status states and only the name for this was changed to North East and Hill States.
“In 112 schemes, we are getting funds from the Centre. Out of this, 48 schemes are 100% financed, 58 are 90% financed, three are 80% financed, one is 70% and two are 50% financed.
“We are not bothered about the name. We are still getting the benefits. How does a name change matter? Assam still has all the characteristics of a Special Category State,” he said.
Sarma suggested the opposition Congress, who raised the issue for a clarification over continuance of the status, to have a friendly approach towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The state government is getting the best possible cooperation from the Centre. We have come for a change and we will deliver the change,” he said.