GUWAHATI, Nov 11 � State governments in the North East, including Assam, have a very dismal record of utilisation of Central funds with regard to the vital food processing sector.
Union Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said here today that while no Central funds were spent by the states during the last two years of the previous UPA regime at the Centre, in the last five and a half months since the NDA government took over, utilisation of funds has now reached 50 per cent.
�In the North East, the utilisation of funds is only 50 per cent, which is very low. Other states also have similar rates of low utilisation. Since I took over charge, I have pushed for more utilisation, with the result that now it has reached 50 per cent. In the previous two years, no funds were utilised,� she said, addressing an interactive session organised by industry body ICC.
The Minister added, �Within the next six months, I want utilisation to reach 100 per cent so that I can then provide more funds.�
She said food processing industries in the North East are part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi�s �Make in India� mission.
Badal said she would speak to the Chief Minsters in the region and follow up on utilisation of Central funds in the food processing sector. �I will personally monitor it. Action will be taken if funds remain unutilised,� she added.
Badal said Modi is giving special attention to the development of the North East and food processing is a sector with special potential in the region due to its geographic features and unique ecosystem and biodiversity.