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No dearth of NEC funds, says Aiyer

DoNER Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar (Right) and Nagaland Planning Minister T.R. Zelaing at the NEC meet.
Dimapur, Feb 21 (NPN):
Published on 22 Feb. 2009 1:32 AM IST
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DONER Minister Mani Sankar Aiyer there was no restriction in fund allocation for the North East region, provided there was increase in expenditure Aiyer told the NEC meeting in Shillong on Saturday that there was no restriction in fund allocation for the region, provided there was increase in expenditure. “There is no restriction in resource. But you have to increase your expenses, with prove on the ground”, Mani told the NE ministers attending the meeting. “The more you spend, the more you will get,” he added. At the meeting, state Minister for Planning and Coordination TR Zeliang submitted “urgent proposals” in the road sector for the state which included improvement of Tizit-Namtola-Sonari road, improvement and upgradation of the road from Mao Gate to Pfutsero via Kkezakeno, Jalukie-Intanki National Park road via Jalukieram-Jalukieam-Jalukiesangtam village linking Monglumuk and Dhansari, improvement and upgradation of Dimapur-Nuiland road, Kohima by-pass road and Aghunato-Mokokchung road via Suruhoto. He also appealed to the NEC to give priority to development and marketing of medicinal and aromatic plants, honey and bee keeping and strengthening of pig breeding farms at Jalukie and Medziphema, which were crucial for improvement of the economy of the rural populace. Stating that Nagaland has no mega power projects, Zeliang appealed to the NEC to accord priority to the proposed 5 MW Tapuiki power project, 10 MW Meguiki power project, 10 MW Milak power project, 200 KW micro hydel project on Tapi river and 600 KW hydro power project on Tsutsung river. Addressing the meeting, Zeliang pointed out that in the various previous NEC meetings, the energies of the Council were spent mostly on dealing with tremendous pressures for allocation of funds by the states rather than on perspective planning for the region He however said it did not mean that the basic concept for development of the region was lacking or that the perspective thinking was missing. “The NE Region Vision 2020 document is a clear example that perspective thinking does exist for the region,” Zeliang said. He added that without assurance or clear ideas of specific amounts that can be made available either annually or during the plan period, the exercise of the NEC remained project based and the NEC meetings confined to distribution of funds rather than focusing on perspective planning for the states. He said during the 10th Plan, the NEC had approved 34 projects and schemes amounting to Rs 344.59 crore for Nagaland but an amount of Rs 131.68 crore was yet to be cleared. In the 11th Plan, the NEC approved only three projects for the state amounting to Rs 6.50 crore of which only Rs 1.69 crore has been sanctioned. “As far as the 11th Plan for Nagaland under the NEC is concerned, it is non-existent in reality. Whether we talk of Rs 1000 crore Annual Plan for the year 2009-10 or otherwise, as far as Nagaland is concerned it will mainly be for only clearing the backlog of the 10th Plan,” Zeliang said. He suggested that the NEC adopt committed strategy and find out ways to ensure the completion of the projects taken up during the 10th Plan. “If new schemes are to be considered, the principle on which they are to be considered should be clearly outlined,” he added. He also demanded that the kind of schemes and projects that were being considered by the NEC be made known to all the NE states. Simply keeping on submitting priority list every year without budgetary provisions was a meaningless exercise, he stated and hoped that the NEC would accord priority to the ongoing projects rather than starting new ones. He informed that Nagaland had submitted 23 schemes on priority basis, but the NEC accorded sanction only for one project amounting to Rs 60 crore while two roads-Viswema-Kedima-Zutketsa and Tizit to Longtin via Nokyan, were indicated as approved schemes. State Planning Board Deputy Chairman Neiba Khronu, Chief Secretary Lalhuma and Joint Development Commissioner Aolemla also present at the meeting. Accept Tripura, ministers from all the NE states attended the meeting.

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