Northeastern region a priority area for Centre: Minister

Agartala, Aug 26 (IANS) The northeastern region is a priority area for the BJP-led NDA government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked all ministers to visit the region repeatedly, union minister Babul Supriyo said here on Wednesday.

“BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) led NDA (National Democratic Alliance) government wanted all round development of the northeastern region. Hence, the government is according top priority to the developmental schemes of the region,” the minister of state for urban development, housing and urban poverty alleviation told reporters.

Supriyo said all the union ministers have been instructed “to approve the file relating to northeastern region first, then the files of other regions.”

“All the central ministers were asked by the prime minister to visit extensively to the northeastern region to personally deal with all the schemes, projects and issues of the region,” he said.

About the continuance of the central and state financial share on the 90:10 formula for central schemes and projects of the northeastern states, which are categorised as special category states, the minister said that he was unaware about all these issues, but northeastern states would always get priority from the union government.

“You would soon see a good result on the central government’s initiatives towards the development of the northeastern region,” he said, adding that the government was keen to work in close coordination with the state government.

There are 11 states in the country clubbed under the special status category, comprising eight northeastern states, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand.

The funding pattern for the special category states for centrally sponsored schemes was in the ratio of 90:10, where 90 percent of the total expenditure is borne by the central government and 10 percent contributed by the state concerned.

Cutting across political lines, the chief ministers of the eight states ruled by the Congress, Left and regional parties through a unanimous resolution had earlier urged the prime minister to maintain the special category status after uncertainty clouded the issue.

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