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External aid of $150 million for NE states
Correspondent SHILLONG, JUL 9:
Published on 10 Jul. 2009 12:54 AM IST
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The government has taken special initiative to mobilise external funds through World Bank (WB), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and International Development Association (IDA) for upgradation of the region's roads, bridges, urban infrastructure and boosting trade in the North Eastern states. “An external aid of $150 million projects is in pipeline to develop and to improve the standard of living of the people, especially in the far-flung areas of the region,” a Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) official said. According to a WB report, the project code-named North East Region Livelihood Project, is likely to be approved by April, 2010 and the borrower for the same will be the Government of India. As per the tentative funding pattern, the borrower will provide $ 15 million, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will provide $ 20 million and the International Development Association (IDA) will provide $ 115 million. The main objective of the project will be to achieve an upward trend in livelihood productivity among participating local community groups through participatory and demand driven investment choices and collective actions. The project will have three components to the projects. The first component will be social empowerment will be aimed at strengthening and building institutions of the poor like self-help groups, economic activity-based groups and natural resources management-based groups. “Efforts will be made to conduct participatory planning processes, strengthen cultural heritage and to protect vulnerable sections of the society,” it said. The second component will be economic empowerment and investments. This component aims at enhancing productivity, employment and income in sustainable manner by providing integrated package. Under this component, special emphasis will be given on upgrading of agricultural linkage roads and small hydro-power schemes, natural resources management, community-based infrastructure and improving access to finance and formation of capital at the household level, training on vocational skills to facilitate employment generation, the report said. The component is aims at establishing and managing effective linkages with concerned departments in each of the participating States to facilitate technology transfer of productivity enhancing innovations as well as quality assurance. This component will also aim to establish linkages with specialised institutions like the North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited (NERAMAC), North Eastern Handicrafts & Handlooms Development Corporations (NEHHDC),Cane and Bamboo Technology Centre and private sector organisations like the FINER to improve access to market and employment generation. The project will also aim to improve access to financial institutions like the North Eastern Development Finance Corporation (NEDFi) for financing short and long-term needs. The estimated date for appraisal authorisation of the project has been fixed on February 11, 2010 and the estimated date for approval on April 13, 2010.

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