Northeast fund utilisation pattern being reviewed, says Jitendra Singh

New Delhi, Dec. 22 (ANI): The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER) has said the ministry is seriously reviewing the pattern and process of utilisation of government funds allocated for the development in the region.

Speaking at an interactive programme organised by the Federation of Industry and Commerce of North Eastern Region (FINER) here on Monday, Dr Singh said there are a number of factors responsible for inadequate utilisation of the allocated funds. “In addition to the need to increase the amount of allocated funds, there is also an urgent need to overcome the factors responsible for inadequate utilisation of allocated or available funds.”

“Often funds are not released, because the Detailed Project Reports (DPR) for new projects are not available on time, and as a result, funds get lapsed, projects get delayed, and the total cost of the project also gets escalated. Secondly, sometimes after the release of the first initial instalment of funds, the subsequent grants do not get released because of the failure of the State Governments to furnish Utilisation Certificates (UCs) on time,” said Dr Singh, who is also MoS for PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space,

To overcome these delays, he said, his Ministry has worked out a number of new methods, including on-line submission of DPRs and UCs as well as involvement of the Delhi based Resident Commissioners for follow up of the projects of their respective states.

Dr Singh said he would welcome suggestions from the business community, as also from Members of Parliament from northeast, as to whether the ministry could modify the procedure related to DPRs and Utilisation Certificates so that the State Governments do not have a reason to complain, and at the same time, the Ministry of DoNER is also able to make full use of the funds available.

Since the exercise on the Union Budget is going to begin shortly, the Ministry would approach the Union Finance Ministry for enhancement of allocations available under different heads for development of northeast, he added.

He said he is of firm belief that the North-Eastern Region is endowed with immense trade potential to develop as “Asian Trade Hub”, which can also do business with countries across the eastern borders. “However, because of certain factors, many of which are correctable, the progress in this direction has been slow. Due of personal interest and follow up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we shall be able to achieve this objective,” he hoped. (ANI)

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