Guwahati/Agartala, Feb 25 (IANS) Chief Ministers of northeastern states have reiterated to maintain the funding pattern to 90:10 ratio in all central government sponsored schemes and projects including Smart City projects, officials said on Tuesday.
The demand to revise the funding pattern for all schemes and projects from 50:50 ratio to 90:10 ratio was raised by the chief ministers of northeastern states in the ongoing three-day Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Conclave 2020 in Guwahati.
The NITI Aayog sponsored three-day event, which began on Monday, was attended by chief ministers, officials from the northeastern states, DoNER Minister, officials from central ministries, experts and academicians, representatives from the civil society and international development organisations.
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has demanded revision of existing 50:50 fund sharing pattern to 90:10 for various schemes and projects like Smart City for the northeastern states.
Deb also urged NITI Aayog’s support for pursuing central government to sanction more power and sufficient funds to North Eastern Council (NEC) so that each state of the region can get proportionate share of required funding.
The funding pattern of many central government schemes for the special category states including eight northeastern states was in the ratio of 90:10, where 90 percent of the total expenditure was borne by the central government and 10 percent contributed by the state concerned.
However, in many other schemes including Smart City projects, funding pattern is 50 : 50 ratio. There are 11 states in India clubbed under the special status category – the eight northeastern states, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand.
Tripura Chief Minister also said that the NITI Aayog may also provide active support for simplification of sanctioning procedure for the projects taken up under externally aided project (EAP) by reducing the number of clearances required to be obtained from different Ministries in respect of projects taken up in the northeastern states.
“Tripura government is focused to achieve double digit growth of economy of the state and sustain the same in the long run, through concerted efforts to make the state a trading hub and gateway to northeastern states,” Deb said.
He said that, export promotion of items like bamboo, rubber, tea, fruits and nuts, value addition of exportable surplus items produced in Tripura like rubber, bamboo, and augmentation of service sector like tourism, hospitality, health care through capacity building and high end skilling would be the key strategies for economic growth.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, his Mizoram counterpart Zoramthanga, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang also supported the Tripura Chief Minister’s demand for 90:10 funding pattern.
Assam Chief Minister said: “Guwahati would play a crucial role as it is India’s gateway to Southeast Asia. Together, with NITI Aayog’s support, we would continue our journey in ensuring the prosperity of the region and its people.”
Union DoNER (Development of North Eastern Region) Minister Jitendra Singh, NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar, CEO Amitabh Kant also spoke in the conclave, being held at the Assam Administrative Staff College.
Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog stressed on the need for mainstreaming the northeastern region in the national development agenda and identification of state specific and region specific priorities as key to SDG localisation.
NITI Aayog CEO said: “India, especially the northeast region, offers unique challenges and opportunities. The solutions need interventions that bring disruptive change and, thus, fostering a tech-embedded development trajectory is of paramount importance.” The three-day conclave (February 24-26) focused on the ‘Partnership, Cooperation and Development of North East States’.
NITI Aayog has the mandate of overseeing the adoption and monitoring of SDGs at the national and sub-national level. Progress in the northeast region is crucial in this decade of action for the country to achieve the SDGs by 2030.
The Guwahati conclave is part of NITI Aayog’s continuous efforts towards fostering partnerships at the sub-national level. In terms of SDG localisation, the states in the region have taken major strides in integrating the “Agenda 2030”.