SHILLONG, July 9: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma harped on pints to push his agenda across in the NEC on Monday for the interest of the State and the north-eastern region.
Addressing at the 67th plenary session of the Council in Shillong on Monday, Conrad said that challenges in the forms of development gaps and disparities across all sectors should be overcome.
Sangma said: “The decline in NEC budget allocation for development programmes does not augur well for the region. Without suitable financial backing from the NEC, it will be difficult for the States of the region to reach the desired levels of growth and development as envisioned in the NER Vision 2020. The Government of India, therefore, will require reviewing the fund allocation to the Council by raising the annual budget size to at least Rs 2,000 crore so as to enable the NEC to fulfill its mandate for ensuring sustainable growth and development in the Northeast.” Sangma criticized the recent decision of the NEC to concentrate on specific sectors like bamboo, piggery, regional tourism, higher education, tertiary healthcare, telemedicine and science & technology and the Ministry of DONER’s decision to wind up the Non Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) which is being replaced by the North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme CNESIDS) where funding for important infrastructure is also extremely limited. The Chief said that this will have a dampening erect on the socio-economic development of the NE States as investments in crucial sectors such as Human Resource Development and Employment, Power, Transportation and Communication Sectors will be affected.
In the spirit of the federal structure, any important decision on change of approach and guidelines must be taken at the Plenary Session of the North Eastern Council.