Reduction in funds' allocation to slow NER development

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New Delhi, May 3 (UNI) A number of developmental projects in the North-East are expected to be hit following reduction in allocation of funds to the Ministry of the Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER).

According to official sources, even though the Ministry made a projection of Rs 2922 crore for the current financial year, the actual allocation was Rs 1455 crore.

The Ministry informed to the Parliamentary Standing Committee that due to the reduction in the allocation by almost 50 per cent, projects would suffer and it would not be able to implement the schemes for the region's development.

North Eastern Council (NEC) recently said before the House Panel that the analysis of 'Vision-2020' revealed that a staggering amount of Rs 25,000 crore was needed for the region, even to catch up with the present national per capita income.

The Panel, however, was not convinced by the arguments given and said, ''The component of private investment is a totally different matter to be viewed in the proper context and perspective. The outcome of the public investments should be visible and transparent and then only a positive message will go for private investment.'' It agreed that there were basic and inherent problems in converting public investment into tangible results and said it can only be achieved if there was a sense of commitment among implementing agencies and the state governments.

The Committee recommended that sincere efforts should be made to ensure that the investment made for the development of the NER yielded concrete results.

Meanwhile, there were 233 projects, which the North Eastern States (NES) could not complete on time. The delay in utilisation of funds by the state governments and limited working season were the main cause for the non-completion of the projects on time, the Ministry said.

A total of 925 infrastructure projects, at an estimated cost of Rs 6637.09 crores to NES have been sanctioned, which includes power sector, roads and bridges, education, health and water supply projects. So far, Rs 5048.41 crores have been released for implementation, and the NES reported the completion of 426 projects.

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