NPCC faults CM for state's financial position

Dimapur, June 16 (MExN): The NPCC on Tuesday criticized  Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio for talking about the state financial crisis and a bleak future, instead of instilling confidence among the people caught in the nightmare of COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is unbecoming for a four term Chief Minister who is unable to inspire confidence despite all the power and resources at his disposal,” the Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) stated reacting to the press conference given by the Chief Minister in Kohima on June 15. 

 “Instead of briefing about the mounting state deficit and a near empty state exchequer, he must rather tender apology to the people of Nagaland for landing the state in such a miserable position as he has been the Chief Minister for 4 consecutive terms since 2003, except for his sojourn to Delhi as Lok Sabha MP in between,” the NPCC said in a press release issued by its communication department.

The NPCC reminded that the DAN-I Government under his leadership had started off with a clean slate in 2003 and the then Finance Minister had even presented a surplus budget of Rs 18 crore while presenting State budget for 2004-05. After Rio directly took over the Finance portfolio in 2005, it has been a continuous downhill slide for the past 15 years, the NPCC alleged.

“The budget deficit projected at Rs. 1652.64 crore is just a stage-managed figure for public consumption or else the actual deficit figures will be well over Rs. 4000 crore, if the deficit as well as nonexistent money in Civil Deposit is taken into consideration,” it alleged.

It blamed the Chief Minister and “his cronies” for the situation and asserted that 17 years is long enough to develop the state if the former was really sincere “in his thoughts and commitment to work for the people.” It also charged the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party of making a feeble attempt to shift blame.

The NPCC further alleged that there has been a “total absence of creating avenues for employment and building infrastructures for revenue generation,” during said years and added that the limited options available for increasing revenue generation are also overlooked as the focus “is always on begging for additional funds from the centre.”

It also accused the State government of taking an “easy recourse in imposing COVID Cess on fuel products, not realizing the overall cascading effect it is having on our economy.” 

While other North Eastern states that attained statehood after Nagaland have made huge progress in revenue generation through creation of necessary infrastructures, the state continues to “languish far behind with those in power taking the excuse of unresolved Naga political problem to hide all their failures and massive corruption perpetrated,” it said.

Stating that it is time for people of Nagaland to realise the extent of damage of “moneybag politics,” the NPCC said “anticipating change from those responsible for destroying Nagaland will be a farfetched dream.”

 “Unless the public collectively voice out, Chief Minister will continue to only talk about deficit figures and poor financial health without bothering to fix the problem,” it added.