New Delhi, Jan.20 (ANI): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said his government viewed infrastructure development in the North East as a key element in the strategy for developing the region and increasing connectivity with the rest of the country.
Addressing a meeting of North East Chief Ministers here to review the progress of infrastructure projects in the region, Dr. Singh said: “Very considerable progress is being made in each of the sectors reviewed today”.
He directed the Planning Commission to constitute a monitoring committee with representatives from the North East states to improve coordination among central ministries.
The meeting was organized by the Planning Commission, which is the nodal agency appointed for initiating and monitoring developmental work in the North East region.
The Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, made a detailed presentation on infrastructure development in the region, and noted that continuous focus on the region has led to satisfactory results during the 11th Plan period.
He said the state domestic product growth in the region has been above the national average for the first time ever in the 11th Plan, which he added underscored the success of the initiatives and constant monitoring by the Planning Commission.
The GSDP of North East region grew nearly ten per cent during the 11th Plan period from 2007-2012, compared to eight per cent for the country as a whole. This growth was supported by good agriculture sector performance including horticulture, floriculture, fisheries, rubber and oil palm production.
Ahluwalia further noted that during the same period total central assistance, including NCA, ACA, SCA and SPA had more than doubled to the region from Rs. 34764 crore during the 10th Plan to Rs. 73374 crore during the 11th Plan period. As a result, plan expenditure has grown significantly in all north east states as share of GSDP.
Central Ministries have focused on development of infrastructure, including railways, roads, airports, telecom and power.
The following are the highlights of the review in individual infrastructure sectors:
The Twelfth Plan initiated a major expansion in railway development in the region. There are 20 Railway projects under way of which 10 are national projects. Highlights are: