DoNER, NEC urge for merger of 2 Central Funds: Aiyer

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New Delhi, Dec 18 (UNI) The Ministry for the Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) along with the North East Council (NEC) today urged the governemnt for the merger of two different funds allocated to this region -- one under the Non-Lapsable Central Fund and the other for the Multiproject fund -- allocated by the Centre to NEC.

Addressing mediapersons on the conclusion of the two-day 55th North East Regional Council meeting here, the minister for DoNER Mani Shankar Aiyer said the biggest benefit from the clubing of these two funds would encourage the involvement of the local people in their various economic, social and developmental projects.

Mr Aiyer said each of these funds get around Rs 600 crores. So once the Rs 1200 crore are at the disposal of the nodal Ministry Donar, it would help them in prioratising the projects based on the inputs available from the State concerned.

He said the entire NER had got huge potential to becme the ''arrow head'' in the country's economic growth, provided some of the basic issues of the region were resolved at the earliest.

''As the entire region is a landlocked one, mostly with other countries, it becomes a hard task for us to provide the benefit of our various projects within a short period as it involves huge funds which is estimated at around Rs 11 crore for creating the necessary infrastructure for industrial development of the these eight States,'' Mr Aiyer added.

His Ministry, in order to attract investment including the foreign investment in the region, organised a two-day NE business summit at Bangkok in Thailand which witnessed 40 trade inquires and some 300 domestic companies on their own expressed their willingness to invest in this region.

He said the much acclaimed ''Look East Policy'' had not provided the requisite dividend for the region so his Ministry took the initiative and requested External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukerjee to help them to review the policy so that people of the region could secure the benefits out of the policy.

During the two-day meet, they reviewed the performance of the eight sectoral meets which were held earlier during the year, Mr Aiyer said.

Responding to questions, Mr Aiyer said the success rate was estimated at 80 to 90 per cent, but in terms of its benefits for the people, it is negligble, he added.

The 56th NEC meet will be held at Agartala in May, 2008, Mr Aiyer said.


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