NEC to earmark 30% fund for focused development of priority areas: Jitendra Singh

SHILLONG, 23 Jan: Union minister Jitendra Singh on Saturday said the North Eastern Council (NEC) will earmark 30 percent of its fund for focus development of priority areas and deprived sections of the society in the region.

Addressing the 69th plenary of the NEC here, Singh said all eight states of the Northeast will identify those villages or regions which are backward in various indicators and will work to bring them at par with the rest of the country.

“The NEC will earmark 30 percent of its fund for focused funding of priority areas and deprived sections of society in the Northeast. The growth story shall never be complete until all regions make progress at par with the other parts,” he said.

The NEC is the nodal agency for the economic and social development of the northeastern region which consists of the eight states of Arunachal, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.

“Today, the Northeast is cited as a development model. Post-Covid-19, Northeast will be favourite tourist and trade destination,” he said.

The meeting was chaired by union Home Minister Amit Shah and attended by most of the chief ministers of the region.

Singh, who is the union minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), said the northeastern region is of utmost importance to the current government and its development is of top most priority.

 “We set out to fill not only the physical lapses but also to overcome the psychological bridges,” he said.

The minister also lauded the efforts of Shah and said his priority and sensitivity towards the region has been proved by his presence at the plenary.

“A new message has been sent out today and that is overcoming the psychological barriers. Today, the Northeast is cited as a developmental model for the rest of India. I would also like to add that in the past six months, the Northeast has become a model in Corona management as well,” he said.

Singh said all the chief ministers of the Northeast are worthy of appreciation as during the lockdown period there were no coronavirus cases in five states of the country and all of these were in the Northeast.

“It was only when a student from Delhi had arrived that a Covid-19 case was reported,” he said. (PTI)