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.
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