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Arunachal asks Centre for special funding

By The Assam Tribune

ITANAGAR, June 2 - Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Kalikho Pul has requested the Centre to consider special funding for the State on the lines of Special Plan Assistance (SPA) in a bid to ensure continued investment in critical infrastructure.

�If the Centre seeks to continue to pursue the policy of trying to bring the backward States at par with the other developed States of the country, it must ensure special dispensation in some form or other for these States to cope up with the national development process,� Chief Minister Kalikho Pul said during a meeting with the 13-member Niti Aayog team led by its CEO Amitabh Kant here, on Tuesday.

�The sense of neglect and apprehension that people have felt due to lack of development for long, has now to be met with action on the ground. We must ensure that the communities are given the basic amenities of life and a competitive standard of living, in comparison with other parts of the country,� he said.

Arunachal is an uncontested and integral part of India, the Chief Minister said and asked the Centre to be more assertive with international donor agencies and impress upon them to invest freely in the State.

�Arunachal Pradesh should be made pivotal to our foreign policy vis-s-vis China. For a start, Japan may be invited to invest in the State in order to check Chinese hegemony in the region,� he suggested.

He said the Niti Aayog should also involve itself in assisting the States in drafting State development plan based on State ownership, taking into account State specific needs and resources.

The Niti Aayog may also assist the States in preparing institutional mechanism and capacity building for better implementation, monitoring and evaluation of government schemes and programmes, he said.

�Special funding for continued investment in critical infrastructure for the State is of paramount importance,� he added. � PTI

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