Develop an appropriate mechanism to extend financial support to Arunachal Dy CM at the Center

     Itanagar, Dec 30 (PTI) Arunachal Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein on Thursday urged the Centre to consider an appropriate mechanism to ensure adequate financial assistance for development of the northeastern state.  
During a pre-budget meeting convened by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi, he stressed on "non-availability of funding from multilateral development banks and other international financing institutions", and requested the ministry to compensate the state through other means.
He appealed to the Centre to consider project-specific grants at the rate of Rs 1,500 crore per year under any window similar to erstwhile Special Plan Assistance (SPA).
The deputy chief minister also proposed for "an interest-free 50-year loan at the rate of Rs 1,500 crore per year over and above the normal borrowing limits prescribed by the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2003" for consideration.
He said the state witnessed massive development in border infrastructure in the last 5-7 years.
"However, depopulation of border areas for the want of better infrastructure is a reality and poses a serious challenge...," Mein said.
The state government proposed for construction of roads and drinking water facilities, strengthening of health and education infrastructure, installation of micro hydropower projects and solar streetlights in the border areas.
"Once sanctioned and executed, these projects will provide much better infrastructure in the border areas and boost economic activities. This will encourage people to return to their native places," he said.
The deputy CM requested the Centre for early clearance of projects which are under active consideration of the Union Home Ministry.
Mein also sought flexibility for the northeastern states to design customised projects in particular sectors where the ministries concerned are not able to spend 10 per cent of gross budgetary support on their schemes and programmes in the region.
"This will ensure increased capital expenditure in NE and also will not distort the allocations within the specified sectors," he said.
The deputy chief minister also urged the Centre to facilitate creation of investor-friendly frameworks and a specific policy for the NE states for development of manufacturing capacity in the region to create jobs.
He also requested the Narendra Modi government to set up a special task force for improving trade, connectivity and economic infrastructure in the region.
Mein further appealed to it to double allocations for schemes of the North-East Council, Department of North-East Region and Border Area Development Programme. PTI UPL

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