The Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region was set up as a Department on 5.9.2001 and was upgraded as a full-fledged Ministry on 27.4.2004 to sharpen focus on the Development of North Eastern Region.
The Major functions of the Ministry include matters related to the planning, execution and monitoring of development schemes and projects of the NER including those in the sectors of Power, Irrigation, Roads and Communications. The Ministry of DoNER is also mandated to coordinate with various Ministries/Departments primarily concerned with the development and welfare activities in the NER. The Ministry is expected to provide necessary impetus to accelerate the process of the development of the Region.
The important areas which have been identified for initiation of action for development of NER during first 100 days are as under:-
(i) Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources
Under the existing procedure processing of projects proposals, preparation of DPRs and sanctioning of projects take considerable time. Therefore, the existing guidelines for sanctioning these projects are being revised so that new projects could be sanctioned within 45 days of the submission of the DPRs. Arrangements are being made for processing of DPRs in the Ministry itself by creating its own Technical Wing. Specific action plans are also being prepared for completion of all ongoing projects.
(ii) Enhance connectivity in the NER
The major reason for the backwardness of the region is its inadequate connectivity with the main land. As part of NE Vision 2020, preparatory work for the master plans of connectivity for the NE Region was initiated. Now, the concerned line Ministries would be impressed upon to firm up and finalise the master plan and prepare action plans within 100 days for enhancing connectivity in the NER in the following sectors:-
· Roads, Railways, Airways, Waterways and Telecommunication.
(iii) Implementation of projects included in the Budget Speech of Finance Minister, 2008-09
During his Budget Speech for the year 2008-09, the Hon’ble Finance Minister made provision of Rs.500 crore for implementing specific infrastructure developmental projects in the NER. Selection of projects and preparation of DPRs would be completed covering all 8 NE States within first 100 days.
(iv) NER Vision 2020
For the speedy development of the NER, North Eastern Council and Ministry of DoNER have prepared NER Vision 2020 document. For implementing the recommendations contained in the Vision document, various Thematic Groups were constituted for preparing specific plan of action. It is endeavoured to complete the plan of action for all sectors. Further, the concerned Line Ministries would be requested for initiating action for implementation.
(v) Expansion of North East Region Community Resource Management Project (NERCROMP)
Implementation of this project enhanced the earning capacity of the people in the specified areas where it was implemented. The scope of the project would be expanded to cover more villages in existing districts and additional districts by associating Public Sector Undertakings of the Ministry viz. NEHHDC, NERAMAC and NEDFi. The project proposal would be prepared and submitted to the Planning Commission within first 100 days.
(vi) North Eastern Rural Livelihood Project(World Bank funded)
North Eastern Livelihood Promotion Society has already been registered for implementing this Project to be funded by World Bank. We shall endeavour to complete other preliminary activities for recruitment of key personnel and conduction of studies and surveys for implementing the projects within 100 days. The Public Sector Undertakings of the Ministry viz. NEHHDC and NERAMAC would be revamped and would be associated for implementing the project to provide linkages to the economic activities generated through the project.
(vii) Look East Policy (LEP)
Under Look East Policy, the Ministry makes efforts to showcase the strengths of North Eastern Region to the neighbouring countries to attract foreign investment for setting up new industries, to boost tourism and for expanding trade. In pursuance of these objectives, an action plan for next 5 years will be prepared during the first 100 days.
(viii) 10& GBS Utilization by Non-exempted Ministries.
50 Non-exempted Central Ministries/departments are earmarking 10% of their Gross Budgetary Support for NER. The Ministry shall strengthen the monitoring mechanism to ensure that these Ministries do spend 10% of the GBS in the North Eastern Region.
(ix) North Eastern Development Finance Corp Ltd(NEDFi)
NEDFi would enhance disbursement of loans to the extent of Rs.100 crore during the current year. NEDFi would endeavour to broad base its activities by opening new branch at Silchar and Representative Offices in Goalpara District in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh in the first 100 days.
(x) North Eastern Handicrafts and Handlooms Development Corporation Ltd (NEHHDC)
The Board of the Corporation would submit a package for restructuring and revival of the Corporation.
(xi) North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Ltd (NERAMAC)
A detailed restructuring plan will be prepared for enhancing the capacity of the Corporation to procure fresh produces. NERAMAC, shall also endeavour to set up a cashew processing plant of 4 TDP capacity at Mankachar in Assam.