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DoNER Ministry pushing Look East Policy : Handique

By Correspondent

JORHAT, May 20 � The DoNER Ministry under BK Handique is going to complete one year on May 22, 2010 with its multifarious activities for accelerating development in the North Eastern region. When contacted, B K Handique, Union Minister of DoNER and Mines told this correspondent, �The people of North East are no longer parallel to the Indian mainstream. The North East today is the mainstream. We need to move on from there�.

Among the achievements of the ministry during the year, he pointed out the initiation of faster process to retain, sanction and release of Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) fund, promotion of Look East Policy, promotion of downstream industries and initiation for the development of the youths.

�The Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) fund was put in place so that the financial resources meant for the North East remain committed to the region� he said. The Ministry of DoNER has released an estimated Rs 668.62 crore to north-eastern States for development projects in the region under the Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) in the financial year 2009-10. The disbursed amount under NLCPR is higher than the allocations made in the financial year 2008-09, which was Rs 660.38 crore. During 2009-10, the NLCPR committee of the ministry convened 12 meetings wherein a total of 97 projects for the NE States were sanctioned at an estimated cost of Rs 834.99 crore. The ministry also retained 163 projects at an estimated cost of Rs 1635.83 crore from the priority list 2009-10. The provisional budget allocation of NLCPR during 2010-11 is Rs 800 crore.

As the Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymers Limited (BCPL) will be commissioned by 2012, Handique recently reviewed the progress on the establishment of downstream industries of BCPL with Bijoy Chatterjee, secretary, chemicals & fertilizers and other officials including director (finance), GAIL, managing director, BCPL, director general, Central Institute of Plastics Engineering & Technology (CIPET), principal secretary, Industries, Government of Assam, Jt Secretary, DoNER and representatives of NEC, NEDFi and SIDBI.

In the sitting, it was decided that an international exhibition with the help of Plast India at Guwahati from May 21 to 24 would be organised by Government of Assam, Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals, GAIL, and BCPL to create awareness among the entrepreneurs. The Government of Assam has proposed to float a special purpose vehicle (SPV) with the involvement of a big business house to establish plastic parks in the State and GAIL offered to supply the polymer to plastic parks in the north-eastern region till the production in BCPL starts. The Ministry of DoNER also sponsored various diploma courses in CIPET to generate required skills among the youths to meet the demand of downstream industries.

It was also informed in the meeting that out of 1,800 youths trained in the National Academy of Construction in Hyderabad, 1400 have already been engaged in BCPL works while others are in the process of absorption. The Government of Assam has planned to train 3,000 additional youths as per the requirement indicated by BCPL management.

The Ministry of DoNER has also proposed to sponsor eligible persons for similar training in due course of time. It was also discussed in the meeting that NEDFi has prepared 25 project profiles which can be readily financed by banks.

Handique hoped that the Plast India exhibition would bring all these stakeholders together so that at least two plastic parks would be ready before the commissioning of BCPL by creating massive awareness programmes and establishing backward and forward linkages for the plastic industry. �Youth exchange programmes with the South East Asian countries are continuing. We have envisaged a programme for NE students and youths for vast expansion of opportunities for acquiring skills and competence through capacity building and technical assistance scheme,� he said. �We have also introduced a cell named �North East Connect�, which will cater to the security concerns of the north-eastern youths in the national capital region in Delhi. The eight resident commissioners of the respective States have also been involved in the process,� he further said.

The aggressive Look East Policy of the Govt coupled with recent initiatives for close trade ties with ASEAN countries would bring in much desired thrust to the development in this land locked-region, he said. Accordingly, all infrastructure related connectivity viz., road, rail, air, telecom and IT are being undertaken through various national and flagship programmes of the Central Government.

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DoNER Ministry pushing Look East Policy : Handique

JORHAT, May 20 � The DoNER Ministry under BK Handique is going to complete one year on May 22, 2010 with its multifarious activities for accelerating development in the North Eastern region. When contacted, B K Handique, Union Minister of DoNER and Mines told this correspondent, �The people of North East are no longer parallel to the Indian mainstream. The North East today is the mainstream. We need to move on from there�.

Among the achievements of the ministry during the year, he pointed out the initiation of faster process to retain, sanction and release of Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) fund, promotion of Look East Policy, promotion of downstream industries and initiation for the development of the youths.

�The Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) fund was put in place so that the financial resources meant for the North East remain committed to the region� he said. The Ministry of DoNER has released an estimated Rs 668.62 crore to north-eastern States for development projects in the region under the Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) in the financial year 2009-10. The disbursed amount under NLCPR is higher than the allocations made in the financial year 2008-09, which was Rs 660.38 crore. During 2009-10, the NLCPR committee of the ministry convened 12 meetings wherein a total of 97 projects for the NE States were sanctioned at an estimated cost of Rs 834.99 crore. The ministry also retained 163 projects at an estimated cost of Rs 1635.83 crore from the priority list 2009-10. The provisional budget allocation of NLCPR during 2010-11 is Rs 800 crore.

As the Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymers Limited (BCPL) will be commissioned by 2012, Handique recently reviewed the progress on the establishment of downstream industries of BCPL with Bijoy Chatterjee, secretary, chemicals & fertilizers and other officials including director (finance), GAIL, managing director, BCPL, director general, Central Institute of Plastics Engineering & Technology (CIPET), principal secretary, Industries, Government of Assam, Jt Secretary, DoNER and representatives of NEC, NEDFi and SIDBI.

In the sitting, it was decided that an international exhibition with the help of Plast India at Guwahati from May 21 to 24 would be organised by Government of Assam, Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals, GAIL, and BCPL to create awareness among the entrepreneurs. The Government of Assam has proposed to float a special purpose vehicle (SPV) with the involvement of a big business house to establish plastic parks in the State and GAIL offered to supply the polymer to plastic parks in the north-eastern region till the production in BCPL starts. The Ministry of DoNER also sponsored various diploma courses in CIPET to generate required skills among the youths to meet the demand of downstream industries.

It was also informed in the meeting that out of 1,800 youths trained in the National Academy of Construction in Hyderabad, 1400 have already been engaged in BCPL works while others are in the process of absorption. The Government of Assam has planned to train 3,000 additional youths as per the requirement indicated by BCPL management.

The Ministry of DoNER has also proposed to sponsor eligible persons for similar training in due course of time. It was also discussed in the meeting that NEDFi has prepared 25 project profiles which can be readily financed by banks.

Handique hoped that the Plast India exhibition would bring all these stakeholders together so that at least two plastic parks would be ready before the commissioning of BCPL by creating massive awareness programmes and establishing backward and forward linkages for the plastic industry. �Youth exchange programmes with the South East Asian countries are continuing. We have envisaged a programme for NE students and youths for vast expansion of opportunities for acquiring skills and competence through capacity building and technical assistance scheme,� he said. �We have also introduced a cell named �North East Connect�, which will cater to the security concerns of the north-eastern youths in the national capital region in Delhi. The eight resident commissioners of the respective States have also been involved in the process,� he further said.

The aggressive Look East Policy of the Govt coupled with recent initiatives for close trade ties with ASEAN countries would bring in much desired thrust to the development in this land locked-region, he said. Accordingly, all infrastructure related connectivity viz., road, rail, air, telecom and IT are being undertaken through various national and flagship programmes of the Central Government.