NE CMs demand increase in NLCPR funds

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Agartala, May 13 (UNI) The Chief Ministers of the Northeastern states have demanded that the entire unspent fund, sanctioned to the region by various Central Ministries, should be made available in the Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR).

The Chief Ministers have also asked North East Council (NEC) Chairman and Minister for Development of Northeastern Region (DoNER) Mani Shankar Aiyar to take up the matter with the Planning Commission as well as with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.

Talking to UNI here today, Mr Aiyar said the council members (NE Chief Ministers) had argued that the NLCPR fund, in its entirety, was an entitlement of the region and all the unspent money, sanctioned against particular projects in the NE, should be allocated.

Referring to the discussion of the 56th NEC plenary session, Mr Aiyar pointed out that the council members held an animated and in-depth discussion on NEC budget for 2008-09 and also on issues relating to finance for development of the region.

''The deliberations mostly dwelt on as to how the fund allocations could be augmented, streamlined and made more effective for overall development of the region,'' Mr Aiyar said, adding that at least 10 per cent increase in the allocation of funds from the Non Lapsable Pool for the NE was necessary.

The council had decided to form a task force of the Chief Secretaries of the eight states along with the DoNER secretary and NEC secretary as convenors to look into the issues relating to better, sustained and more effective mechanism for spending of the funds for the region's development.

''The task force would also see whether funds made available to the DoNER Ministry through NLCPR should be made available in entirety as an entitlement of the NE states, or should it continue as grant from consolidated fund of the Centre,'' he underlined.

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