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Agenda for Socio-Economic Development in The North-East and Sikkim

Prime Minister’s Rs. 10,271-crore Agenda for Socio-Economic Development
in the North-East & Sikkim

The following document, made available by the (Indian) Prime Minister’s Office, was released at the Conference of Chief Minister’s of North Eastern States. The document presents Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s January 2000-agenda for the social and economic development of the North East region.

Shillong, January 21, 2000

After listening to the points made by Governors and Chief Ministers of the North-East States and Sikkim, the Prime Minister has decided upon the following initiatives for the social and economic development of the North-East region and Sikkim:

1. Banking

A sum of Rs. 500 crores will be provided for rural infrastructure development every year from the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF).

Banking facilities will be provided at all border trading points within one year.

A sum of at least Rs. 50 crores will be disbursed per annum by North-East Development and Finance Corporation (NEDFI).

2. Commerce

An Export Development Fund (EDF) for the North-East region will be set-up with an initial corpus of Rs. 5 crores. The Ministry of Commerce will work out the modalities for operation of this fund.

The border townships of Moreh (Manipur), Zokhawther (Mizoram), Dawki (Meghalaya) and Suterkhandi (Assam) will be developed over the next 2 years at a cost of Rs. 20 crores.

3. Border Trade

An Empowered Committee will be set up to process the recommendations of the Inter-Ministerial Task Force on Border Trade. This will be completed within 12 months.

4. Health

North-Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences in Shillong will be upgraded and made a national institute. The upgraded institute will offer studies in 8 medical super specialities, 5 surgical super specialities and 10 non-clinical specialities. The institute shall have a 500-bed referral hospital. A sum of Rs. 422.60 crores will be spent on upgrading these facilities.

5. Education

A Central University will be set up in Mizoram. The Bill for this purpose has been passed by the Rajya Sabha and will be taken up by the Lok Sabha soon. A sum of Rs. 25 crores will be spent for development of infrastructure for this new university which meets a long-standing demand of the people of Mizoram.

Government has decided to double the number of Industrial Training Institutes for imparting training in new trades over the next 3 years. This will involve an outlay of Rs 100 crores.

6. Security Related Expenditure

The Union Government will further expand the list of items of expenditure incurred by the police, eligible for reimbursement, which would include 50% of POL (petrol, oil and lubricants) costs, village guards, village defence committees and home guards (subject to guidelines). The SRE reimbursement facility will be extended to Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh. The Modernisation of Police Force Scheme (in kind) will be extended to Sikkim. The total additional reimbursement would be Rs. 40 crores per annum.

7. Peace Bonus for Mizoram

Mizoram is the most peaceful State in the North-East today. With a view to encourage the people of Mizoram who have opted for peaceful economic development, Government has accepted the recommendation of the Committee set up by the Finance Ministry and allotted Rs.180 crores to Mizoram to tide over its financial problems. Government will also release Rs. 50 crores every year from the non-lapsable pool and resources for 5 years for specific infrastructure development projects in Mizoram.

8. New India Reserve Battalion (IRB)

Government will also sanction 3 India Reserve Battalions - One each for Tripura, Mizoram and Manipur. With an estimated expenditure of Rs. 15 crores for each battalion. The setting up of these 3 IRBs will cost Rs. 45 crores.

9. Border fencing and Border Roads

It has been decided to fence the remaining portion of Indo-Bangladesh border and construct border roads with a total outlay of Rs. 1,335 crores. The work on this would commence in April 2000.

10. Central Non-lapsable Pool of Resources

The Government has streamlined the procedure for selection of projects which are to be funded out of the Central non-lapsable pool of resources. It is expected that projects worth Rs 500 crores will be sanctioned annually to build up infrastructure and take up other economic development projects.

11. Power

The Government has accorded approval to 2 hydro-electric projects in the Central Sector:

Loktak Downstream (90 MW) in Manipur at the cost of Rs. 578 crores.

Teesta V (510 MW) in Sikkim at the cost of Rs. 2,200 crores.

Action has been initiated to ensure that Subansiri Lower Side (660 MW) project in Arunachal Pradesh commences in 2001. This will require investment of Rs. 3,000 crores.

Ministry of Power has prepared a new scheme for rural electrification of 500 tribal villages to be funded by Rural Electrification Corporation. The scheme will cost Rs. 30 crores.

Assistance will be provided for completing the ongoing critical transmission/sub-critical transmission systems at a cost of Rs. 239.92 crores.

12. Civil Aviation Policy

In order to provide inexpensive air travel in this region, Government has decided:

Aviation Turbine Fuel will be provided to small aircrafts at international prices.

Aviation Turbine Fuel for small aircrafts will be treated as a "declared good" – i.e. it will attract a sales tax of not more than 4%.

There will be no IATT for routes operated in the North East.

13. Roads Sector

Government will soon sanction 8 road/bride projects under NEC with a total outlay of Rs 258.24 crore.

Twelve new National Highways / extension of existing highways have been declared, covering a total length of 1,962 km. A sum of Rs 100 crores will be earmarked for the development of these highways.

14. Information Technology

To promote Information Technology and its application, an ambitious programme has been drawn up to establish computer information centres in all 446 blocks in the 7 North-East States. Another 40 such centres will be set-up in Sikkim. This project will be implemented in the next 2 years at a cost of Rs. 100 crores.

15. Excise Concession

Excise concession in the New Industrial Policy shall be made applicable to the Numaligarh Refinery in Assam. This would involve an annual concession of around Rs. 200 crores.

16. Flood Control

The Government has decided to reform the Brahmaputra Board to make its functioning more effective for implementation of flood management schemes.

17. Horticulture

A Technology Mission for Horticulture will be sanctioned during the current financial year. The total outlay for this mission is Rs. 262.50 crores over the next three years.

18. Development of Bodo Areas

The special programme scheme for development of insfrastructure and other facilities in the Bodo Autonomous Council Areas will be sanctioned with a total outlay of Rs. 30 crores per annum for 3 years.





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