Union Budget a shot in arm for Northeast development

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New Delhi, Mar 10 (ANI): The Union Budget addressed the importance of infrastructure for sustained economic development and allotted money to boost the growth potential would be realized only if infrastructure does not become a severe and critical handicap.

The Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in February aims at developing infrastructure in the northeast.

Rs 1,114 crores have been earmarked for development of infrastructure under the Pradhanmantri Gram Sadak Yojna.

Appropriate infrastructure will ensure a smoother farm to market connectivity indirectly enhancing the trade and commerce.

The Rail budget too focused on connecting remote areas of northeast with the rest of the country.

Connectivity with South Asian nations like Bangladesh and Nepal has been given a high priority.roposal of a direct rail link between Tripura and Bangladesh will indirectly promote India's "Look East Policy."

"Timing problem will be solved by this problem. Usually we take a long time to get cargo from any other states. After this train will begin, we will take less time and save money, which will be profit to us and good for our business," said Habul Biswas an exporter.

"In the present rail budget the proposed Agartala-Akhuara rail connectivity on materializing shall help in industrial development of Tripura, better relation between the people of both nations as people to people contact shall increase, trade and business shall also boost up and thus Tripura shall develop and also northeast. Hence we are very happy with the rail budget, as there is proposal for Agartala-Akhuara rail connectivity," said Jhantu Debnath, an employee.

Keeping in mind the welfare of people, the apex agency for development in northeast, DONER, has been allocated an additional Rs 285 crores, raising its funds to Rs 1760 from Rs 1475 crore.

To promote better air connectivity and facilities, Rs 121 crore has been set aside for the development of airports.

In addition Rs 80 crore has been added to the funds allocated to the Northeast council.he council will now be given Rs 623 crore instead of Rs 543 crore for the development projects it has undertaken.

Though the subsidy for the Assam gas project has been reduced but regular funding will be maintained.

Mukherjee has also committed liberal funding towards the ongoing projects.

"There has been a tax relief to the common man. A relief of Rs 26000 crore has been diverted towards it. It is good for middle class as it is rising," said R C Joshi, Chairman, Final Institute of North East Region.

"The budget actually puts back in track the agenda of reform that is very important. It shows the indication that government is thinking differently of how to give subsidy in future," Madhujya Bezbaruah, Economist, Guwahati University.

Development of the Northeast region is a thrust area for the government, which has been delayed by the activities of various militant groups operating in the region. (ANI)

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