The union ministry of development of north eastern region (DoNER) has not benefited the northeastern states, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said here Tuesday."Actually we did not want the DoNER ministry; we had asked the central government long ago to set up a cell in the PMO (Prime Minister's office) to monitor the development of northeastern region," Sarkar told reporters here after attending the meeting convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to replace the Planning Commission with a new body.He said: "If the cell was set up at the PMO, the prime minister could personally look after various affairs of the northeastern region,"
"The DoNER ministry was not useful for the northeastern states. No administrative infrastructure was created under this ministry. It has no mechanism to study the projects submitted by the state governments creating abnormal delay in sanctioning the projects," he added.
Sarkar said that the DoNER ministry was yet to take any steps to resolve the actual needs of the northeastern region, comprising eight states -- Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Tripura and Sikkim.The DoNER ministry was mandated to look after and resolve the matters relating to the planning, execution and monitoring of development schemes and projects in the northeastern region.The union government, under the leadership of then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, set up the department of DoNER in 2001 and upgraded it to a ministry in 2004.Favouring the restructuring of Planning Commission, Sarkar, a politburo member of Communist Party of India-Marxist, said that the new planning body must be given full autonomy and authority so that it does not work under the dictates of any ministry or department of the central government.
"Chief ministers of all states must be a member of new planning body on rotational basis. Each time one chief minister from northeastern state should be a member of the new body. Experts of various fields can be the members of the new planning body," he added.Demanding changing of PPP (Private Public Partnership) approach, Sarkar said: "We have raised the issue of providing 50 percent government revenue to the states and 30 percent fund of various central assistance must be untied fund."Sarkar said at the Dec 7 meeting that instead of private investment, public investment is crucial for combating backwardness of the northeastern region."Funding pattern for the northeastern states by the central ministries must be changed for their proper and timely spending," he added.Modi held a meeting with chief ministers of all states in New Delhi Dec 7 to seek their views on the structure and functioning of the revamped Planning Commission