PM miffed at slow implementation of northeast projects: Rijiju

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed his unhappiness at slow implementation of projects in the northeast, a region he has been focusing on, according to Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju.

“The other day I met the PM and he said ‘Kirenji, kuch kijiye’ (Kirenji, do something),” Rijiju said at the Northeastern Region (NER) Dialogue on “Impact Analysis of NER Industrialisation Enabled through Central Government Policies” organised by the Northeast MPs Forum (NEMPF) here on Thursday night.

Chaired by Assam Congress Rajya Sabha Member Bhubaneswar Kalita, the NEMPF organised the dialogue in collaboration with Federation of Industries and Commerce in the Northeastern Region (Finer)

Rijiju, who is from Arunachal Pradesh, said that a lot of gaps needed to be bridged in policies on the northeast and implementation of these.

“No region in the country is as dependent on Central funds as the northeast is because of historical reasons,” Rijiju said.

Citing an example, he said that he has been trying for the release of Rs 150 crore for some urban development projects in the northeast but it took a lot of time and “that is because of these gaps”.

Minister of State for Development of the Northeastern Region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh said that Modi was giving high priority to the northeast.

“He (Modi) is ready to give anything we ask for,” Singh said.

He said that Modi’s visit to the Northeastern Council (NEC) headquarters in Shillong earlier this year was the first by a prime minister in around 40 years since the visit of then Prime Minister Morarji Desai.

However, Singh said that the NDA government has been working on speedy implementation of projects in the northeastern region.

He said that fund utilisation certificates of Rs 11,000 crore that was pending from the previous government has been brought down to around Rs 300 crore.

“We cannot allow one part of a country to lag behind if we have to be a global power,” Singh said.

Stating that the northeast was the gateway to countries in India’s east, he said that the government has embarked on expanding connectivity in the region, which included expansion of the railway network.

Singh said that many projects in the northeast have been lying uncompleted and the Centre has now asked all state governments of the region to identify all such projects.