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Hundred per cent funding for central projects in Northeast, says Jitendra Singh

The minister said the forum would look into various proposals both at central and state levels and prepare plans for the speedy development of the Northeast.

By: PTI | New Delhi |
Updated: February 17, 2018 7:53:45 pm
Union minister Jitendra Singh. (File)

The Narendra Modi government has decided to fully fund various central projects being implemented in the Northeast, instead of the existing practice of sharing 90 per cent of the cost, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said on Saturday.

Addressing a press conference in the national capital, Singh said ever since the Narendra Modi dispensation assumed office, the Northeastern region has been given the utmost attention. “A historic decision has been taken. There will be 100 per cent funding by the central government for projects in the region, which were earlier being undertaken on the basis of centre-state sharing in the ratio of 90:10,” he said.

He said the government’s “Act East Policy” has enhanced the importance of the region in engaging with South East Asian neighbours.

Highlighting the steps taken for the development of the Northeast in the last four years, Singh said the 90-year-old Indian Forest Act of 1927, which was a legacy of the British Raj, was amended through a decision of the Union Cabinet.

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“As a result, bamboo, which was defined as a “tree” under the Indian Forest Act of 1927, was changed, thereby doing away with the requirement of obtaining a permit for cutting of bamboo on non-forest land for economic use,” he said.

This, Singh said, is going to be a game-changer for generations to come, by opening new avenues of job generation and entrepreneurship by allowing bamboo cultivation and bamboo use by non-farmers on non-forest land.

The Union Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) said that under the central government’s Bharatmala Pariyojna, as many as 5,301-km roads in the region have been taken up for improvement. “Out of this, 3,246-km roads have been marked for development of economic corridor in the Northeast. Also, bidding process for the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway has begun,” he said.

Singh said the government has created an exclusive forum at the NITI Aayog for preparing plans for the region, which will be co-chaired by its vice-chairman and the DoNER secretary.

The minister said the forum would look into various proposals both at central and state levels and prepare plans for the speedy development of the Northeast.

He said the railways gauge conversion has been completed, thereby all operational medium gauge sections in the Northeast have been converted to broad gauge. “An Agartala-Akhaura (Bangladesh) rail link supported by the DoNER is at tendering stage,” he said.

In civil aviation, Singh said, the construction of an airport at Pakyog (Gangtok, Sikkim) is complete.

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