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Centre allots Rs 357.97 cr to NE states
Correspondent SHILLONG, JUL 17:
Published on 17 Jul. 2009 11:08 PM IST
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The Union Panchayatiraj Ministry has allotted Rs 357.97 crore to the North-eastern states under the Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF). According to official sources here on Friday, the fund was allocated under the components of development grant and capacity building during 2007-08 and 2008-09. The BRGF would be allotted to 250 districts in 27 states of the country. The list of the 250 districts included all 200 covered by the National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme and 170 identified as backward by the Inter-Ministry Task Group (IMTG) on Redressing Growing Regional Imbalances. The districts included all 147 covered by the Rashtriya Sam Vikas Yojana (RSVY) and the 150 covered by the National Food for Work Programme (NFFWP). The IMTG identified 170 districts as backward on the basis of 17 socio-economic parameters like economic, health and educational status, infrastructural inadequacy and overall regional backwardness, sources added. Meawhile, the Union Food Processing Industries Ministry has proposed to establish about 30 "Mega Food Parks" across the country during the 11th Five Year Plan period. According to an official statement here on Friday, the aim of constructing the food parks was to provide state-of-the-art infrastructural facilities to the food processing industries and increase the production of agricultural commodities, including dairy products. The ministry has proposed to provide financial assistance upto 50 per cent for setting up the food parks, while it would provide financial assistance upto 75 per cent for the food parks to be set up in the North-east Region. The scheme would help farmers, food processors, retailers to maximise production. The scheme would also increase farmers' income and create employment opportunities in the rural sector. Food Parks are already operational in the country since the 8th Five Year Plan period with the Centre giving 33.33 per cent financial assistance for setting up the parks in the North-east.

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