NEW DELHI, Feb 29 � The Union Budget presented by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley this morning announced a Rs 33,097 crore allocation for the North-Eastern region.
Allocation for the Central Pool of Resources for the North Eastern region, including Sikkim is Rs 900 crore, while allocation for the North Eastern Council (NEC) is Rs 795 crore. The Plan outlay of Central ministries for Ministry DoNER is Rs 1,600 crore, a marginal hike from Rs 1,543 crore allocated last fiscal.
The overall allocation for the Ministry DoNER is Rs 2,400 crore, which is an increase from Rs 1,973.42 crore sanctioned last fiscal.
The Budget also brings disappointing news for BPF because it has no word on allocating Rs 1,000 crore. It was given a grant of Rs 50 crore, while Karbi Anglong Autonomous District Council was allocated Rs 30 crore and Dima Hasao Autonomous Council Rs 20 crore.
In his action taken report, Jaitley said the State governments of Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Tamil Nadu have identified the locations and furnished the requisite details for setting up of AIIMS in these States.
Central teams have already visited the sites proposed by the governments of Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Tamil Nadu and their reports have been received, the Union Finance Minister confirmed.
Last year, Jaitley had proposed to set up a Centre for Film Production, Animation and Gaming in Arunachal Pradesh, for the North-Eastern States.
The Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute of Kolkata has prepared a detailed project report of establishing the proposed institute in Arunachal Pradesh, that is under active examination.
However, the land earmarked at Jallang, Itanagar has not been transferred in favour of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting by the State Government of Arunachal Pradesh to enable the Ministry to expedite the proposal for setting up of the Film and Television Institute in Arunachal Pradesh.
Meanwhile, reacting to the Budget, Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, Sarbananda Sonowal described it as pro-poor, and Assam would get maximum benefit because the focus of the Budget is eradicating poverty, development of rural areas and development of the health sector. �It is a poor men�s Budget,� he claimed.
The allocation for Prime Minister Gramin Sadak Yojana is significant and it will help Assam in developing its rural road connectivity.
Reacting to the Budget, Rajya Sabha MP Pankaj Bora said that it was most disappointing Budget. It was much ado about nothing, he said.
There is nothing in the Budget for the North-East and there is no mention about the fate of the Special Category State status, the 90:10 funding pattern and NEIIPP, Bora said.
Talking to this newspaper, Bijoya Chakravarty said that it was a growth oriented and pro-poor budget.
Reacting to the Budget, Ramen Deka said that it was a balanced and pragmatic Budget and there is new space for growth.