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NE Vision 2020 document implementation slow: Centre

By Spl Correspondent

NEW DELHI, July 24 � In a significant admission, Minister of State for DoNER General (retd) VK Singh acknowledged the slow pace of implementation of the �North Eastern Region: Vision 2020� document, released with much fanfare during the UPA II, a decade back.

General (retd) Singh admitted that in the last 10 years, they have not seen much happening. �We are at it to improve things, and I am quite sure, after taking into account all possible suggestions that are coming, we will be able to put in place a mechanism which will make things better,� he said, replying to a Question Hour discussion today.

Earlier, Mani Shankar Aiyar, who was the former DoNER Minister, suggested that the Ministry could make the release of funds much quicker and far more efficient, �if you were to revive the 17 Working Groups that were established after the then Prime Minister released the document �North-Eastern Region: Vision 2020� �.

Aiyar also wanted to know whether the legal obligation that the Minister of DoNER has to convert the North Eastern Council in Shillong into a regional planning body, has been fulfilled.

Amidst interruptions, Aiyar contested Singh�s assertion, arguing that the North-Eastern Region Vision document came out less than 10 years ago, and the Working Group was set up less than a decade ago. The work on making the NEC a regional body also started less than 10 years ago, he pointed out.

Joining the issue, Sitaram Yechury said that as a minister it is very easy for each one of us to say, �in the last 10 years nothing has happened, and, therefore, what can I do; I inherited something bad�. �The point at issue is that you are the Government today and we are a country, and both are in continuum. So, whatever is the continuum right now, what are we and how are we going to proceed?� he asked.

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