PM-DevINE scheme is testimony of PM Modi's focus on North-East, says Himanta Biswa Sarma
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday said that the Prime Minister's Development Initiative for North-East (PM-DevINE) scheme announced by the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting the Union Budget 2022-23 is a testimony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's focus on the North-East.
Addressing the Intellectual Meet on Union Budget 2022-23 in Manipur, Sarma said, "Modi Ji's scheme PM DevINE (Development in North East) is the first of its kind scheme in the name of Prime Minister. There were schemes earlier too, like the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), but this scheme is focused entirely on the North East."
"PM Modi believes that the country's economy will only grow when we (Northeastern states) will," he added while saying that the Prime Minister has shown the world that when he talks about Atmanirbhar Bharat, he means it.
Appreciating Budget 2022-23, the Chief Minister said that the Centre's commitment toward the North-Eastern states is "not just words, but deeds too".
"This Budget was placed on the background of a huge pandemic impact; lockdowns and curfews every now and then, but in spite of that, the Finance Minister has increased the demolition grant to every state. The grant for Assam has been increased to Rs 25,000 crore, we are gaining by 35 per cent on account of the demolition grant," he said.
"It is not just words, but deeds also; The FM sanctioned two extra instalments for the last two months of the present financial year,' he added.
Expressing thanks to PM Modi, Sarma said, "If you think on a micro-level; North East would have been on a different trajectory if Modi ji would've been the Prime Minister of India after independence. We had waited for Rajdhani (railways) and highways for years, until Modi ji. Today, PM Modi has constructed a highway and a railway network in the North East."
While announcing the PM-DevINE scheme, the Finance Minister had stated that it will be implemented through the North-Eastern Council, and an initial allocation of Rs 1,500 crore will be made for the new scheme.
It will fund infrastructure, in the spirit of PM GatiShakti, and social development projects based on the felt needs of the North-East.
Sitharaman had said that this will enable livelihood activities for youth and women, filling the gaps in various sectors. However, it will not be a substitute for existing central or state schemes. While the central ministries may also pose their candidate projects, priority will be given to those posed by the states.
As per the Finance Ministry, the initial list of projects to be funded under the Scheme includes Establishment of Dedicated Services for the Management of Paediatric and Adult Haemotolymphoid Cancers in North East India, Guwahati (Multi-State), NECTAR Livelihood Improvement Project (Multi-State), Promoting Scientific Organic Agriculture in North East Indian (Multi-State), Construction of Aizawl By-pass on Western Side, Gap funding for Passenger Ropeway system for Pelling to Sanga-Choeling in West Sikkim, Gap funding for Eco-friendly Ropeway (Cable Car) from Dhapper to Bhaleydhunga in South Sikkim, Pilot Project for Construction of Bamboo Link Road at Different Locations in Various Districts in the State of Mizoram among others.