Aiyar disagrees with Moily's recommendation

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Shillong, Jun 18 (UNI) Union Minister of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Mani Shankar Aiyar today disagreed with the recommendations of the second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) to abolish the DoNER Ministry.

''All the Chief Ministers of the region feel that the budget of the Ministry must be increased, instead of abolishing the Ministry,'' Mr Aiyar told reporters here.

The UPA government has constituted a Group of Ministers, headed by External Affairs Minister Parnab Mukherjee to examine the ARC recommendations. The ARC, headed by former Karnataka chief minister M Veerappa Moily, has recommended the abolition of the Ministry and that the responsibility for the development of the region should be restored to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Terming the ARC's recommendation as ''unfortunate'', Mr Aiyar said the ARC never consulted him on the issues of abolishing DoNER.

He felt a wider consultation should have been undertaken before making any such recommendations.

He maintained that the funds from the Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR), instead of being routed through the Ministry of Finance must be given directly to his Ministry.

''Why should the Finance Ministry give grants from the NLCPR to the DoNER ministry? The DoNER Ministry has a meagre budget allocation and a huge committed liability till date,'' he claimed.

According to a report, ''The responsibility of sanctioning funds from the Non-Lapsable Central Pool resources should be entrusted to the North Eastern Council.'' The report suggested that the Planning Commission should lay down a framework for preparation of plans ''with priorities and not as an assortment of schemes by the North Eastern Council''.

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