The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh has asked the North Eastern States to expedite fund utilization, so that the financial support made available to them from the Centre can be availed to the maximum extent for the development of the region. He said, he will personally write to all the eight Chief Ministers of Northeast, to impress upon them to expedite the budget utilization.While presiding over a meeting of senior officers of Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) and North Eastern Council (NEC) to review the status of Central Budget expenditure so far in Northeast during the current Financial Year, Dr Jitendra Singh expressed serious concern about the funds not getting utilized at the pace and scale at which it is expected. He said, the Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi places Northeast very high on the priority and the Prime Minister himself takes keen interest in following the development activities in the region, but delayed response on the part of some of the states deprives the people from getting the optimum benefits envisaged for them.
Dr Jitendra Singh recalled when the Government took over in 2014, there were complaints of gross under-utilization of Central funds allocated to the North Eastern States. However, he said, in the last four years, the Ministry of DoNER had modified a number of procedures, as a result of which, both the funding as well as the accountability has increased manifold. This, in turn, has led to a visible and revolutionary fast-track development in the region, which was being appreciated by all, he added.Dr Jitendra Singh emphasized that he wished the State Governments to make 100% utilization of the funds made available to them, so that in the next budget, more allocations could be planned. He called upon the State Governments to particularly focus on prompt submission of Utilization Certificates (UCs) and avoid delays on account of land acquisition, etc.At the meeting, it was also decided that in the next coming months, the Ministry of Northeast and North Eastern Council will embark on hi-tech Digitization programmes for all the eight States. In addition, commemorative programmes to observe the 150th birth centenary of Mahatma Gandhi will also be held at Northeast.Secretary DoNER Shri Naveen Verma, Secretary NEC Shri Ram Muivah and other senior officers were present at the meeting.