New Delhi: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh has said that the North Eastern Council (NEC) will be reoriented and developed as a state-of-the-art resource centre for the North Eastern States with necessary resources, knowledge and skill to execute innovative and strategic vision for the region. Addressing a combined meeting of the senior officers of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) and NEC here today, Dr Jitendra Singh said this will be in keeping with the changing times and the vision of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi as laid down by him during his visit to Shillong to attend the NEC Plenary meeting in May 2016.
Dr Jitendra Singh said the NEC was set up way back in early 1970s with the intention to give special focus to the development of this region. However, he said, much has changed since then and with the setting up of an exclusive and separate Ministry of DoNER in 2004 during the tenure of former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, there has also been sometimes overlapping of functioning of the two institutions. Therefore, he said, the NEC requires to be reshaped after the identification of thrust areas and critical gaps in order to take up as many development initiatives as possible within the annual budgetary allocations.
During the last three years of the Central Government, Dr Jitendra Singh said the budgetary allocations for both Ministry of DoNER and NEC has been increased. Moreover, the execution of the various development works has been expedited and in the about last two years, the spending of funds has been increased by 65% to 70%. This has happened partly because of bringing in the ease in procedures as well as by using the modern technology for submission of DPRs and UCs through space satellites and other means, he added.
Dr Jitendra Singh said the NEC will have the role of a visionary as well as a strategic leader for all the eight states of the region, wherein it could lay down the roadmap for each of the separate States and areas based on specific requirements, specific attributes and specific needs. In this context, he said, NEC could also take up the leading role of promoting the bamboo industry as well as food processing entrepreneurship.
Dr Jitendra Singh issued instructions for initial written draft underlining the new format of NEC to be prepared within a timeline of one month, which could be discussed and redrafted within short time.
Secretary, DoNER, Shri Naveen Verma, Secretary, NEC, Shri Ram Muivah and other senior officers of Ministry of DoNER as well as NEC were present during the meeting.