NEW DELHI, July 20: Northeast fund utilization against ongoing projects has increased to over 90% in the year 2016-17, thus brushing aside the past perception that most of the funds allocated for the Northeast remained unutilized or unspent for one or the other reason.
In reply to a question by Vinay Sahasrabuddhe in Rajya Sabha today, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh stated that while in the year 2015-16 the number of completed projects was 30, in the year 2016-17, the number of completed projects is 75 which is more than double of the previous year.
In other words, the pace of various projects in the eight States of Northeast has been expedited manifold in the last three years and today, each of the projects is progressing on a fast track.
In his reply, Dr Jitendra Singh also stated that the overall impact of the proactive efforts made by the Ministry of Northeast (DoNER) has been that the pending Utilization Certificates (UCs) under NLCPR scheme came down to the level of Rs. 146.74 cr by the end of 31st March 2017 from its earlier figure of Rs. 1,158.95 cr as on 1st April 2015.
As per the reply furnished by Dr Jitendra Singh, the DoNER Ministry has initiated the novel practice of holding official DoNER Camps in each of the eight North-Eastern States by rotation and officials of the Ministry station themselves in various State capitals by rotation.
The officials of DoNER also undertake regular field visits to various project sites in different States for a first-hand information about the progress of the work. This not only ensures regular follow-up but has also evoked tremendous enthusiasm among the local people about the working of the Union Ministry of Northeast (DoNER).
In addition to all this, the headquarter of the Ministry of DoNER in New Delhi is now maintaining a constant touch with the officials of the different State Governments through regular video conferencing and hi-tech communication through modern means including WhatsApp, SMS, email, etc.
Pertinent to mention that the Ministry of DoNER was among the first Union Ministries in the Government of India to have switched over to e-file system with paper-less office working.