Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for 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 the process of Central fund utilisation by them. Presiding over the first meeting of the Executive Committee of the North Eastern Council (NEC) in October, Dr Jitendra Singh said that the most common factors responsible for delay in the completion of various developmental projects include failure by the states to produce Utilisation Certificates on time, delay in submission of DPRs and inability of the state to provide its share of funding. As a result, not only the projects get delayed but the consequent escalation in the budget leads to further difficulties in timely completion of these projects, he added.
Among others present at the meeting were Union Secretary, DoNER, Mr Ameishing Luikham; Secretary, NEC, Mr Ram Muivah; Chief Secretaries of all the eight Northeast States and Member, NEC, Mr C.K. Das. Dr. Jitendra Singh said that the NEC is no longer an advisory body but it is now a regional planning body with a wider and more crucial role. He referred to the recent initiative of constituting inter-ministerial committees of the Ministry of DoNER with other ministries and at the same time, engaging the Delhi-based Resident Commissioners of different states for the follow up of projects so that the targets could be achieved more smoothly. For this, he hinted at revisiting and revitalizing the entire functioning of the NEC. Talking about India’s “Act East” policy, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that it is his considered view that to “Act East” effectively, we first need to act east proximal and empower the North Eastern region along the international borders.