From Our Correspondent
Itagar, March 23: Lok Sabha MP from Aruchal Pradesh Ninong Ering has asked the Centre to address the issue of poor broadband connectivity, which has severely affected banking services in parts of the North East for the last two weeks. Raising some key issues concerning Aruchal Pradesh and the North-Eastern Region during the budget discussion in the Parliament on Wednesday, Ering, the Congress MP from Aruchal East constituency continued that lakhs of people have been affected by disruption of banking services due to poor internet connectivity. “How will people go for cashless transactions when internet connectivity is very poor? The banking services have been affected in various areas of the North East for the last two weeks and the problem must be addressed at the earliest,” he said. He also said that laying optical fibre cables has been affected in the Northeastern region due to “red tapism” and the central government should intervene in the matter.
Terming digital or cashless economy an ambitious step without creating necessary infrastructure and digital education, Ering said that the government should first try to bring internet to people and then teach them how to use Paytm. The MP said that internet penetration and mobile connectivity in rural areas, including Aruchal Pradesh are still at low levels. Further, he laid emphasis on creating good rail connectivity in north-eastern states and asked for early completion of Bogibeel Bridge over the Brahmaputra River.
However, he was more vocal on the issue of creating good network of roads in Aruchal Pradesh as envisaged by the present NDA regime. Stating that the allocation for highways in the 2017-18 Budget has been raised from Rs 57,976 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 64,900 crore in 2017-18, Ering called for expediting construction process, especially in Aruchal Pradesh where roads remain basic roadblock on the path of good governce. On major schemes, like the Mahatma Gandhi tiol Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) under the MGNREGA, Ering said that mere fund allocation would not serve the purpose. The government must ensure proper functioning of the scheme, Ering said while informing that people in his state were still getting only 14-15 days job out of the promised 100 days.
The allocation for MGNREGS is said to have been increased to Rs 48,000 crore from the Revised Expenditure of Rs 47,500 crore in 2016-17. Ering also raised questions over meagre allocation of fund to the Ministry of DoNER (Development of North East Region).
Poor broadband affecting banking services in NE: Ering
From Our Correspondent