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CSS guidelines change cause of implementation delay: TR Zeliang

TR Zeliang

DIMAPUR, JUNE 12: Deputy Chief Minister and in-charge of Planning and Transformation, National Highways, TR Zeliang today said that frequent change in the Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) guidelines is causing inordinate delay in implementing various Centrally Sponsored schemes, as the State is finding difficult to keep up with the changes in the content of the guidelines.
He also cited the examples of various roads projects which have been stalled by the change in the Central Ministry guidelines. “Moreover, some of the uniform Central guidelines for CSSs are not practical in hill areas, as the expenditure in plain areas and the hill are completely different. If such guidelines are strictly imposed, a State like Nagaland can never meet the requirement and will be losing out on new projects”, TRZeliang said.
Zeliang was speaking at a meeting with the Chairman and members of the Economic Advisory Council to Prime Minister, along with State Governments officials of various Departments today at the Chief Secretary Conference Hall and discussed important issues and challenges being faced by State while implementing Centrally sponsored schemes.
Asserting that some policies of the Central Government are indirectly discriminating the smaller States like Nagaland, Deputy Chief Minister sought the intervention of Economic Advisory Council to Prime Minister in streamlining such policies.
Deputy Chief Minister also said that State’s own resource base is very limited and the development outlay for the current year is Rs 820 crore with an increase of Rs 45 crore over the last financial year. Out of this, Rs 250 crore has been earmarked for the State matching share for CSS to ensure the releases of funds, and with the change in the accounting procedure where the State has to release its share within 21 days or face penalty, the State Government is finding very difficult in providing the State share for various CSSs, Deputy Chief Minister said.
“I request the Chairman, Economic Advisory Council to consider separate funds allocation to meet the requirement of the State share for CSSs”, TR Zeliang said.
Nagaland State consists of 16 districts, home to diverse indigenous tribes and is acknowledged for its community spirit and rich social capital. Nagaland has a literacy rate of 80% contributing to a skilled workforce and it also possess a significant demographic dividend with 60% of its population falling within the 15-59 age groups, which presents a unique opportunity to foster an ecosystem of entrepreneurship and promote skilling and can drive the economic growth of the region, TR Zeliang said.
“To this end, it is imperative to develop a supportive ecosystem that encourages the establishment of entrepreneurial ventures, innovative starts ups and skill centres”, he said.
He said that tertiary sector contributes the largest with 69% share to the State’s economy followed by primary sector at 21% and the secondary sector at 10%.
The low contribution of to the State economy from the secondary sector, he said is largely due to the prevalence of weak industrial base coupled with bottlenecks in the trade linkages. Therefore, the priority sector for State is to improve connectivity, tourism and hospitality sector and developing industrial base particularly the agro-processing industry, he said.
Deputy Chief Minister also said that power is a prerequisite need both for infrastructure and investments, as such the State Government is actively seeking to improve its generation capacity through hydro projects and renewable energy. However, the present ceiling limits imposed on the Northeastern States for seeking funding under Externally Assisted Projects has severely impacted the capacity addition plans of the State, he said and requested the EAC to revisit this imposition.
“The roadmap to 2047 is the transformation for the State of Nagaland. Through development of infrastructure, connectivity and technology driven investments, we would like to march in tandem with the rest of the country. I seek the support of the Economic Advisory Council in realizing our vision”, TR Zeliang said.
The meeting was chaired by Chief Secretary and was attended by Economic Advisory Council to Prime Minister Chairman, Dr. Bibek Debroy and members, and State Government officials of various Departments.
(Page News Service)