NEW DELHI, Jan 5 - Following an uproar raised by the North Eastern States, the Ministry for DoNER has written to the Union Finance Secretary to enhance budgetary allocations, Union Minister for DoNER Dr Jitendra Singh told newsmen here today.
Announcing the creation of the North East Road Development Sector Scheme, Dr Singh said the new project, to be launched within this fiscal, would focus on building �orphan roads�, which are mostly the inter-State roads facing neglect of the State Governments of the region.
Initially, five such inter-State roads have been identified and the National Highway Development Authority has been tasked to take up the projects.
After releasing the calendar of the Ministry, Dr Singh, replying to questions about the oft-repeated complaints of resource crunch, said that the Ministry on its own has written to the Union Finance Secretary for enhancing the budgetary allocations to the DoNER Ministry.
�The funds we are getting now is less than Rs 100 crore for each State,� rued Dr Singh.
Several NE States have been clamouring for additional fund allocation, with Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi even going to the extent of demanding a �white paper� on the DoNER Ministry�s contribution during the NDA Government�s rule.
Dr Singh announced that 70 per cent of the funds from the Non Lapsable Pool of Central Resources (NLCPR) have been released so far and no project is pending clearance in the Ministry.
Meanwhile, the DoNER Ministry, in coordination with other Central Ministries, is organising a three-day festival �Destination North East 2016� from February 12 to 14 at Pragati Maidan to showcase the inherent economic, social and cultural strengths of the North Eastern Region at the national level.
�The festival will display various facets of the region in its myriad forms and colours through various events,� Dr Singh said.
The event will include a theme-specific Business Summit focusing on tourism sector, food processing, agriculture, skill development and entrepreneurship, among others. The Summit will facilitate interaction between the tour operators from across the country with travel agents and hoteliers from the North-east.
The DoNER Ministry proposes to encourage the tour operators to develop theme-specific tourism packages. The idea is to target the LTC travellers with such attractive packages, said Secretary, DoNER, Navin Verma.
Asked about the fate of the North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy 2007, the DoNER Minister said that they are taking the issue with the Ministry of Commerce and Industries. The Ministry has stopped registration of new industries, claiming that the funds for the policy have dried up after it released about 20 per cent budget on the North-east.