NEW DELHI, Jan 6 � In a significant development, financial restrictions have been imposed on the Department of Fertilizers by the Finance Ministry, forcing it to suspend release of loans to the Namrup Fertilizer Plant.
The move has led to cuts in budgetary allocation for the North-east, even as four Central Ministers met today to discuss measures to implement Prime Minister Narendra Modi�s direction to his Council of Ministers to lay special emphasis on the North-east.
The meeting was convened by Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers Ananth Kumar to discuss the Prime Minister�s suggestion. It was attended by Minister of State Sarbananda Sonowal, Minister DoNER Jitendra Singh and Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju.
Later, Kumar told newsmen that they had met to discuss the Prime Minister�s recommendation and that the Centre is totally committed towards development of the North-east.
On Monday, addressing his Council of Ministers, the Prime Minister advised them to focus on the north eastern region. He also asked the ministers to put the seven north eastern states, as well as Sikkim on their map and asked them to spend �reasonable� duration of time in these states, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy told newsmen.
�The Prime Minister said special focus needs to be paid to the North-east. Effort should be made to integrate the north eastern states with the rest of the country,� he said quoting the Prime Minister.
Meanwhile, in another development, the chemical and fertilizer sector in the North-east has been seriously hit following drastic budgetary cuts, which is a fallout of the restrictions imposed by the Finance Ministry.
The Plan outlay for the north eastern areas was reduced because the department managed to utilise Rs 9.99 crore. As per the Plan outlay 2013-14, a GBS of Rs 25 crore was allocated to Namrup Fertilizer and the same was reduced to Rs 0.91 crore and even this amount had remained unutilised.
Plan provision for Rs 24.99 crore was made for 2013-14 for Brahmaputra Valley Fertilizers Corporation Limited (BVFCL). However, the company is not in a position to repay the loan and interest due to its financial position.
The Ministry of Finance vide its letter dated September 20, 2012 asked the financial advisors to ensure that further budgetary support to defaulter PSUs be considered only under revival or other schemes approved by the Union Cabinet, the Department of Fertilizer said in a report.
Therefore, due to financial restrictions imposed by the Ministry of Finance, loan to this company could not be released. While reviewing the demands, allocation was reduced to Rs 0.91 crore. The Plan allocation of Rs 9.99 crore for the north eastern region for 2014-15 is for investment in the BVFCL.