A slew of schemes and economic programmes have been launched by the central government for the overall development of the North Eastern Region. In 2020, NITI Aayog ( think tank of the Government of India), constituted 17 Sub-Groups on 17 thematic areas of development, and the evaluation of these Central sectors and the Centrally Sponsored scheme is done by concerned departments and ministries and the third-party evaluation of schemes implemented by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region and North Eastern Council has been completed.
Recently, an amount of Rs 68,020 crore was earmarked by 54 non-exempted ministries and departments at the Budget Estimates (BE) stage for the North Eastern Region(NER) under 10% GBS (Gross Budgetary Support) for the current financial year (2021-22).
Efforts to combat COVID-19 pandemic
During the fiscal year 2020-21, the government of India unveiled a comprehensive economic package that comprised the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) and three Atma Nirbhar Bharat (ANB) packages to combat the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and to revive economic growth. In addition, the Union Budget 2021-22 proposed increased investments in health infrastructure, Mega Investment Textiles Parks (MITRA), agricultural loan and infrastructure funds, and more budget allocation to the MSME sector.
Furthermore, in June 2021, the government unveiled Rs. 6.29 lakh crore package that included 17 steps to aid the economy in its fight against the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and also to improve public health and provide a boost to growth and employment in the North Eastern Region.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare reviews the COVID-19 status in the region on a regular basis, and the Ministry of Development of the North Eastern Region also takes coordinated action.
The Ministry of Development of the North Eastern Region/North Eastern Council approved untied funds of Rs. 26.09 crore to combat the COVID-19 in eight NER states to help people in the region. The government has also sanctioned projects worth Rs. 36.50 crore for livelihood creation for migrant workers who returned due to the pandemic.
For this, the Ministry of DoNER has approved eleven projects worth Rs. 313.98 crore under the North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme (NESIDS) for improving health infrastructure in North-Eastern states.
Relief through National Health Mission
During 2020-21, through National Health Mission (NHM) Rs. 322.89 crore was released under India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Packages. Under this mission, an amount of Rs 111.34 crore was released to the North Eastern States in 2019-20 too. Minister of Development for the North Eastern Region of India, G. Kishan Reddy, stated this in the Rajya Sabha.
North Eastern Region Vision 2020
The North Eastern Region Vision 2020 document lays out an overarching framework for the region’s development in order to bring it up to par with other developed regions, and it outlines various initiatives undertaken by various ministries, including the Ministry of Development of the North Eastern Region.
Strengthening infrastructure and connectivity: The Vision document has listed infrastructure and connectivity as a significant focus area. In the recent past, a number of efforts have been taken. In the last five years, the Ministry of DoNER has sanctioned road projects worth Rs.1711.19 crore, while the North Eastern Council (NEC) has granted Rs.1573.56 crore for infrastructure development for roads and bridges, railway, airports, ISBT in the North Eastern Region.
Revised Cost Estimate (RCE) of NER Power System Improvement Project
The Revised Cost Estimate (RCE) of the North Eastern Region Power System Improvement Project (NERPSIP) was approved at an estimated cost of Rs. 6,700 crore. The major goal of the project is the total economic development of the North Eastern Region and enhance the intra-state transmission & distribution infrastructure of the region. The scheme will also increase the per capita power consumption of these States.