NORTH EAST IN UNION BUDGET 2016-17
Focus on Organic Value Chain Development,
Connectivity and Skill Development
The Budget for Ministry of DoNER has been increased from Rs 2334.50 crore in last year’s budget to Rs 2,400 crores in Union Budget 2016-17. The main emphasis of the Budget allocated for north-east is on the overall development of the region. Provisions have been made for connectivity in north east region, skill development and organic value chain development, among others. The single most important announcement is the exclusive and unique “Organic Value Chain Development” scheme for Rs. 115 crore which is expected to be a game-changer for the entire region, but would also convert the entire region into a favourite destination for new ups from across the country to come to north east. North eeast has become an important destination, with the state of Sikkim being declare as the first Organic State of India by the Prime Minister recently.
A budget of Rs 33097.02 crore has been allocated for the North eastern region across 56 ministries. This is 14 percent higher than the BE of Rs 29087.93 crore for previous year. Under Non-Lapsable Central Pool Reserve (NLCPR),BE has been increased from Rs 90 crores to Rs 200 crores in 2016-17. The budget allocation for North East Council schemes has been increased from Rs 700 crores to Rs 795 crores this year.
Rs 150 crore have been provided for the newly launched NE Road Sector Development Scheme. This scheme will be helpful in the development of the inter-state roads in the north east. In addition, Asian Development Bank (ADB) will be providing funds for construction and maintenance of roads in the north eastern region.
Budget allocation for North Eastern Development Finance Corporation (NEDFC) has been increased from Rs. 30 crore to Rs. 75 crore which will further boost the Prime Minister’s Start-up India programme in the region. Similarly, skill development budget enhancement from Rs. 16 crore to Rs. 56 crore will further supplement the Start-up Programme. In addition to all the provisions like 3 years tax holiday and 3 months exit period announced by the Prime Minister, the DoNER Ministry will also after “Venture Fund” for new enterpreneurs so as to ease their financial liability. Besides the above provisions, emphasis has also been laid on rural livelihood in the north east and BE for this purpose has been enhanced to Rs 150 crore this year.
Showcasing the north east to the rest of India is very important for the development of the region. The budget allocation for this purpose has been increased from Rs 10.50 crore to Rs 17 crore this year, which is almost 60 percent more than last year’s allocation. Ministry of DoNER had recently organized ‘Destination North East-2016’ in New Delhi during 12th to 14 February, 2016. Now, the Ministry intends to organize similar events, so as to showcase the strengths and the potentials of the North East, especially in the fields of Handicrafts/Handlooms and exhibition/sale of produce of North east. Such events have been planned to be organized in Mumbai and Bangalore in the first quarter of 2016-17.
The main initiative of the DoNER Ministry as a part of the ‘Act East Policy’ is to provide funds to link Railways between India and Bangladesh. The budget cost for the Indian Side is Rs 587 crore would be provided by the Ministry of DoNER.
A special amount of Rs. 10,000 crore for countrywide upliftment of higher education institutions will spare a special share for North Eastern Region and Rs 1623 crore have been allocated to north east for this purpose. Rs. 300 crore will also be spared for the Bodoland Tribal Council by the Government.
NORTH EAST: SOME FACTS AND FIGURES
NLCPR Funds Allocated to NE States
Funds available in Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) are allocated to the North Eastern States for bridging infrastructure gaps based on Priority Lists submitted by respective State Governments. About 1569 projects have been sanctioned under NLCPR until February 2016, at a cost of Rs. 14309.23 crores out of Which 890 projects at a cost of Rs. 5846.20 crores have been completed and 679 projects at a cost of Rs. 8463.23 crores are at various stages of completion. In addition, a total of 247 projects have been retained during last three years at a cost of Rs. 3867.90 crores. An amount of Rs. 376.61 crores have been released in the current financial year(upto 26th February 2016) for completion of ongoing projects and 17 new projects have been sanctioned for which Rs. 120.97 crores have been released.
Modern Facilities in Border States of North-East
Various steps have been taken to accelerate the socio-economic development of the North Eastern Region. Concerned Central Ministries/Departments are required to earmark at least 10 percent of gross budgetary support for North Eastern Region (NER). The Ministry of DoNER and NEC provide funds for bridging infrastructure gaps in NER.
Ministry of DoNER is administering the NLCPR Scheme under which a total of 53 projects in the health sector amounting to Rs. 63313.36 lakhs and 168 projects in education sector amounting to Rs. 145416.55 lakhs, have been sanctioned so far. North Eastern council (NEC) is also administering schemes under various sectors in North Eastern States. The NEC has 41 on-going projects, with an approved cost of Rs. 17322.12 lakhs in the industry sector, 58 ongoing projects, with an approved cost of Rs. 40870.85 lakh in the health sector and 78 on-going projects with an approved cost of rs. 24294.98 lakh in education sector.
Ministry of Home Affairs releases funds for development of border areas under the Border Area Development Programme (BADP) scheme. Rs. 27757.86 lakhs has been released in the current financial year to meet the special development needs of the people living near the international border.
Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Human Resources Development has sanctioned 630 new schools and selected 3334 schools for strengthening and enhancing the quality of education under Rashtriya Madhyamik Shikhsa Abhiyan (RSMA). An amount of Rs. 122884.36 lakhs has been released since its inception.
Asesment of Infrastructure Constraints in N-E Region
The North Eastern council has been conducing assessments of the various socio-economic challenges and infrastructure constraints being faced in the North Eastern Region, from time to time, Major ones are Perspective Transport Plan for Development of North Eastern which became the basis for the Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for North East (SARDP-NE), Feasibility Study on Comprehensive Scheme for Transmission and Distribution in NE States, the North East which Region vision-2020 Document, Feasibility Study Report on Poverty Eradiction in NER and Study on Air Connectivity in NER.
Since its inception, the North Eastern Council has invested over Rs. 12756 crore for development of North Eastern Region in Sectors such as transport and communication for roads and bridges, bus and truck terminus, airport and air connectivity; power generation and transmission; irrigation and water management; education, community infrastructure and sports; medical and health; agriculture and allied activities; industries; tourism; science and technology, and livelihood.
Physical achievement of the North Eastern Council includes construction of 10949 km. Of roads of Inter-State nature and roads of economic importance; 11 Inter-State Bus Terminus and 3 Inter-State Truck Terminus in the North Eastern States. The North Eastern Council also funded 60 percent of the projects costs for up gradation of twelve airports through Airport Authority of India, namely, Guwahati, Silchar, Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Lilabari, Tezpur, Umroi, Lengpui, Dimapur, Imphal, Agartala and Tezu airports.