NEW DELHI, December 22
Speaking in an interactive programme organised by the “Federation of Industry and Commerce of North Eastern Region” (FINER), Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the Ministry of DoNER is seriously reviewing the pattern and process of utilisation of Government funds allocated for development in North Eastern Region. There are a number of factors responsible for inadequate utilisation of the allocated funds available, he said. In addition to the need to increase the amount of allocated funds, there is also an urgent need to overcome the factors responsible for inadequate utilisation of allocated or available funds, he added.
Union Minister of State, Home, Kiren Rijiju and Members of Parliament of different political parties from Northeast participated in the interaction.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, very often the funds are not released because the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the new projects is not available on time and as a result of this, funds get lapsed, the projects get delayed and the total cost of the project also gets escalated. Secondly, sometimes after the release of the first initial installment of funds, the subsequent grants do not get released because of the failure of the State Governments to furnish Utilisation Certificates (UCs) on time. To overcome these delays, he said, his Ministry has worked out a number of new methods including on-line submission of DPRs and UCs as well as involvement of the Delhi based Resident Commissioners for follow up of the projects of their respective States.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, he would welcome suggestions from the business community as also from Honourable Members of Parliament from Northeast as to whether we can modify the procedure related to DPRs and Utilisation Certificates so that the State Governments do not have reason to complain and at the same time, the Central Ministry of DoNER is also able to make full use of the funds available. Since the exercise on Union Budget is going to begin shortly, he said, the Ministry would approach the Union Finance Ministry for enhancement of allocations available under different heads for development of Northeast, he added.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, he is of firm belief that the North Eastern Region is endowed with immense trade potential to develop as “Asian Trade Hub”, which can also do business with countries across the eastern borders. However, because of certain factors, many of which are correctable, the progress in this direction has been slow. But, because of personal interest and follow up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we shall be able to achieve this objective, he observed.
During the interaction, MPs from Northeast including P D Rai, Neiphiu Rio, Mukut Mithi as well as Chairman, FINER R S Joshi and Vice-Chairman FINER Amit Jain also expressed their views and suggestions.