TODAY -

Launch of northeast-specific scheme in Union Budget
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: February 03, 2022 -



ANNOUNCEMENT of the Prime Minister's Development Initiative for North-East (PM-DevlNE) during presentation of the Budget-2022-23 on Tuesday by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has yet again demonstrated that the Union government is well aware about the backwardness of the region in diverse sectors.

Though the budgetary allocation of Rs 1500 crore wouldn't be sufficient to accelerate the pace of development in the mountainous north-eastern part of the country, judicious implementation of the projects as well as transparency in funding would definitely help bring some positive changes in the tiny landlocked states.

As in most of the centrally-funded projects, the PM-Devl NE too would be implemented through the North Eastern Council.

While there wouldn't be much of an issue over the funding process as the Council's administrators would be more than willing if the proposed projects are elaborated and feasibility proven, it is at the ground level where the projects would get stalled owing to insincerity of the nodal agencies and state level officials.

As such, success of the scheme that prioritises funding the infrastructure development, in the spirit of PM Gati Shakti, and social development projects based on the needs of the northeast would depend on constant vigilance of the central government so as to ensure that the vision policy serves the real purpose.

As the new scheme aims to enable livelihood activities for youth and women, and filling up the gaps in various sectors, the Union government needs to make the regional governments accountable in case of any procedural lapses and inordinate delay in implementing the sanctioned projects.

As stated by the union finance minister, the new scheme will not be a substitute for the existing Central or state schemes and priority will be given to projects proposed by the states concerned.

As on date, the projects incorporated in the Union Budget include establishment of
Dedicated Services for the Management of Paediatric and Adult Haematolymphoid Cancers in North East India, in Guwahati (Multi-State);
NECTAR Livelihood Improvement Project (Multi-State);
Promoting Scientific Organic Agriculture (Multi-State);
Construction of Aizawl By-pass on Western Side;
Gap funding for Passenger Ropeway system for Pelling to Sanga-Choeling in West Sikkim;
gap fundirfg for Eco-friendly Ropeway (Cable Car) from Dhapper to Bhaleyd-hunga in South Sikkim and
Pilot Project for the construction of Bamboo Link Road at different locations in various districts in Mizoram.

While it is obvious that no Manipur-specific projects have been enlisted among the approved due to enforcement of the election model code of conduct, funds allocated for multi-state projects relating to development of healthcare, livelihood improvement and promotion of scientific organic agriculture projects are some of the sectors which the state has tremendous potentials when compared to some of the neighbouring states.

So, it is desired that officials concerned prepare project proposals for submission as and when the election process is over.

For instance, development of pottery, handloom and handicrafts, agricultural and horticultural, and eco-friendly tourism projects, to name a few, could be proposed under the new scheme to help the locals earn decent income.

Focusing on these sectors will also encourage many who are yearning to launch own businesses.



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