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Aruchal pleads Centre for special package

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  2 Jun 2016 12:00 AM GMT


Itagar, June 1: Aruchal Pradesh has pleaded the Centre to considering for a special package by identifying funding source and also for special funding on the lines of Special Plan Assistance (SPA) for continued investment in critical infrastructure for the state.

“If the Centre seeks to continue to pursue the policy of trying to bring the backward states at par with the other developed states of the country, it must ensure special dispensation in some form or other for these states to cope up with the tiol development process,” Chief Minister Kalikho Pul said during a meeting with the13-member all ministries Niti Aayog team led by its CEO Amitabh Kant here, yesterday.

Pul said, if the whole transition was examined in totality, the fincial gain in case of Aruchal Pradesh, like other Special Category States, which are mostly resource crunched, was not so much as in of case other general category states.

“This is mainly due to the fact that the allocations like NCA, SCA, SPA and few CSSs, which have been delinked from the plan allocation, used to constitute a major portion (about 40%) of the total central assistance to the state during 2014-15,” he said.

During the year 2015-16, the Centre has released Rs.7,200 crores as devolution of taxes to the state as against projected figure of Rs 8,003 crores by the FFC. Further, for the current fincial year, the fince ministry has earmarked Rs. 7,800 crores as against the projected figure of Rs. 9,237 crores by the FFC.

“There is a deep felt need to build public confidence so that people living along the borders and also in the entire border state of Aruchal are assured that they are indeed an integral part of the India, as the government announces each time there is a Chinese claim,” Pul pointed out.

“The sense of neglect and apprehension that people have felt due to lack of development for long, has now to be met with action on the ground. We must ensure that the communities are given the basic amenities of life and a competitive standard of living, in comparison with other parts of the country,” he said.

Aruchal is an uncontested and integral part of India, the chief minister said and urged the Centre to be more assertive with intertiol donor agencies and impress upon them to invest freely in the state.

“Aruchal Pradesh should be made pivotal to our foreign policy vis-s-vis Chi. For a start, Japan may be invited to invest in the state in order to check Chinese hegemony in the region,” he suggested.

Pul said there is a pressing need and task before the planners to recognize and address historical neglect, extent of economic backwardness, the strength and weaknesses of economies of the hill states, the ethnic, cultural and physio-graphical diversity of the States and requirement of a threshold level of development.

“Taking full account of the present state of development and the special requirement of the hill states like Aruchal, re-orientation and restructuring of strategies and policies best suited to these areas is inevitable,” Pul emphasised.

Stressing on police modernisation, the chief minister suggested for giving a major thrust on modernisation of police and training on anti-insurgency operations by raising two more IRB battalions with equipments support.

He said the Niti Aayog should also involve itself in assisting the states in drafting state development plan based on state ownership, taking into account state specific needs and resources.

“It must ensure that flow of fund to the states is consistent and predictable and based on a transparent formula centered on critical development parameters like area, distance from development, strategic importance, level of development and other disabilities or advantages faced by the states,” he stressed.

“The Niti Aayog may also assist the states in preparing institutiol mechanism and capacity building for better implementation, monitoring and evaluation of government schemes and programmes.

The chief further informed that liabilities due to delinked centrally sponsored schemes have put a burden of about Rs. 1,000 crores on the state government and the Centre should continue to provide adequate funding to the schemes pertaining to important social sectors like health, education, ICDS to eble the state government to implement the schemes properly in accordance with the aspirations of the people.

“Special funding for continued investment in critical infrastructure for the state is of paramount importance,” he added.

Stating that Aruchal is plagued by the lowest road development index in the country with a road density of 22.00 Km per 100 sq km only, Pul said that there is an urgent need to open up the potential of the backward areas through road connectivity for rapid economic development

“In order to ensure dependable connectivity, there is a need to build a railway corridor along the foothills of the state. Though the plan for expansion of railways in the state was projected to reach deep into the interiors to places like Tawang, Tuting and Wallong, this would

“Efficient air connectivity is also a crucial step for enhanced access. We are perhaps the only state in the northeast and maybe the entire country, which does not have a functiol civilian airport with commercial airline operations,” Pul pointed out.

He said the government a plan to connect all district headquarters through helicopter services, which would not just facilitate travel of tourists, but also be of great use in case of evacuation of patients, for use by the NDRF and SDRF during disasters and also by law enforcement agencies. “Out of the estimated hydropower potential of over 57,000 MW, we have been able to build less than 500 MW capacities. We are fully committed to re-energize this sector, and need the support of the Centre to stimulate the sector. An area that must be addressed is that the process of obtaining various clearances for these projects must be expedited and even made into a single window clearance system,” the chief minister added.

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