New Delhi — The development of the North-East Region is high on priority of the Centre and the commitment of the Ministry to North East Region (NER) stands doubled, Minister Gen (Retd) VK Singh has claimed.
In a press conference today, the Gen Singh said his ministry was focusing on completion of ongoing projects. The minister said that “thorough review of these projects and seamless implementation of development projects in NER by inter-ministerial consultations is being ensured”.
Gen Singh said the process of review for schemes of 53 non-exempted ministries and departments is underway. Review of schemes will not only maximise benefits but will also enable concerned ministries/departments to perform well, the minister expects.
For increasing outreach, the minister said two new schemes — ‘Road Development’ and ‘Organic Farming’ — had been launched besides increasing efficacy of ongoing schemes. Non Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR), under which so far 1,596 projects have been sanctioned for a total of Rs 14172 crore, has 833 projects that stand completed and are fulfilling aspirations of NE population, he added.
The total budgetary allocation by Central line ministries for NER is Rs 53,705 crore for 2014-15. The amount allocated to ministry of DoNER is Rs 2,306 crores. Another initiative is in the form of being “pro-active rather than reactive”, it was said during the press meet. Underlying the importance of cooperation between States, the minister said views of all stakeholders were being taken before deciding a policy.
Changes in policies are preceded by detailed consultations with the stakeholders. In pursuance of this shift in policy, a chief ministers’ conference was organised on 21 and 22 August in Guwahati, Assam, where aspirations of the NE people were articulated by the States and the Ministry of DoNER. The ministry is now engaged in putting in place appropriate mechanism for converting these into validity.
Existence of NEC predates setting up of the Ministry of DoNER. The NEC has so far sanctioned 1,199 projects for a total of Rs 6,944 crores, out of which 622 projects have since been completed. The role of NEC is being relooked to make it the focal point for technical evaluation, monitoring capacity building and a key technical adviser for all 8 NE States, the minister said.
“There is a clear shift in focus. Focus now is on detailed review of projects and micro-managing the implementation of projects for better results. Aggressive campaign for showcasing handlooms and handicrafts of the NE States is proposed to be launched for ensuring higher income levels of the artisans, the minister informed,” a Press Information Bureau communiqué read.