Centre to provide 100% funding for Northeast projects

Centre to provide 100% funding  for Northeast projects
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Projects worth Rs 10,200 cr going on in NE by DoNER

Guwahati, December 4: The Centre Tuesday said it is carrying out various projects worth Rs 10,200 crore across the Northeastern region under the DoNER Ministry, an official said here on Tuesday.
The projects will be completed by the end of 2019-20 financial year, the development of north eastern region (DoNER) ministry Secretary Naveen Verma said.
“Out of these, around Rs 3,500 crore worth projects are new and these are fully funded by the Centre. The old projects are funded in 90:10 ratio,” he added.
“Earlier, the central projects under our ministry were funded in 90:10 ratio with the state giving 10% of the cost. But now, all the projects for the eight states are fully centrally funded,” DoNER Minister Jitendra Singh said at a press conference here.
“Projects are being monitored on a real-time basis. Geo-tagged photos of different projects are uploaded on the DoNER (Ministry for Development of North Eastern Region) and North Eastern Council websites,” Singh said.
“Similarly, we are getting utilization certificates uploaded and further money is released. Similarly, the detailed project report is uploaded and gets cleared by state-level committees or the ministry. We have cut on delays and there is complete transparency.”
Singh said, “We are not here to answer the misappropriation of earlier governments. We are here for the new ones (projects). We are here for transparency and there is not a single case of misappropriation in those.”
The eights states of the Northeastern region are Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.
Many of the states were delaying submission of utilisation certificates (UCs) and the DoNER ministry is trying to overcome that, he said.
“Through an online system of UCs, we have brought in transparency and it has led to faster clearances for the states,” Singh told reporters after the inaugural session of the second meeting of the ‘NITI Forum for North East’ here.
“These projects will be completed by 2019-20 fiscal. Out of these, around Rs 3,500 crore worth projects are new ones and these are fully funded by the Centre. The old projects are funded in 90:10 ratio,” he added.
North Eastern Council (NEC) Secretary Ram Muivah said a few of the road projects are 10 years old, while most of the old projects are five years old.
On the delayed projects, Singh said, “We are not here to answer the misappropriation of earlier governments. We are here for the new ones. We are here for transparency and there is not a single case of misappropriation in those.”
“Now, as soon as a project is sanctioned, Rs 10 lakh is released and the rest of the amount is released once we get the utilization certificate,” DoNER secretary Navin Verma said. “The gap between sanction order and work order cannot be more than six months.”
Northeast to focus on bamboo industry
Dr Jitendra Singh today said that with the assistance of Centre, Northeast will focus on bamboo industry in a big way, since this is a sector which has not received the deserved attention inspite of the fact that over 60% of India’s bamboo is grown in this region.
Addressing the meeting of “NITI Aayog Forum for Northeast” in Guwahati, Dr. Jitender singh said that under the directions of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi the home grown bamboo has been exempted from the Forest Act.
During the meeting, Dr Jitendra Singh disclosed that the Modi Government has set up new National Bamboo Mission (NBM) to focus on this sector. The North Eastern Council Cane & Bamboo Development Council (NECBDC) will act as a coordinating and facilitating agency for the North Eastern region, he added.
Out of a total outlay of Rs.1,290 crore till March 2020, Dr Jitendra Singh said, Rs.150 cr to Rs.200 Crore has been allocated for the Northeastern region for the year 2018-19.
He said that the priority should be the marketing of high value products like bamboo shoots, candy, bamboo charcoal fiber in fashion Industry, etc. In addition, big industries dealing in fiber, construction material, bamboo engineered wood, etc. are the potential areas which can be envisaged for further expansion, he said.
Under the four and a half years rule of the Modi Government, Dr Jitendra Singh said, there has been a visible and consistent effort to develop the NortheEastern region and bring it at par with the other regions of the country. This transformation has been mainly possible because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal interest and high priority to the region, he said.
And now, the whole country is witnessing and appreciating the revolutionary fast-track change in a short span of time, the Minister said.
Dr Jitendra Singh also referred to the growth achieved in the tourism sector and said that in the last two years, some of the destinations like Gangtok and Shillong received such a heavy tourist rush that there was no accommodation available.
He said, the most significant marker of this change is the fact that now even the private tour operators from South Indian cities like Bengaluru are planning exclusive tourist itineraries for Northeast.
According to a PIB release, the Minister also referred to the prioritization of the “Tea Sector”, considering the fact that more than 850 Tea Estates and 2500 Tea Gardens are located in the State of Assam alone. He also referred to plans and efforts to achieve self-sufficiency in “Fish production” considering that 95% of the region’s population consumes fish. (Page News Service/PTI)