Money constraint not hindering northeast projects: Minister


Kolkata: It is not monetary constraints which are hindering development projects in northeastern states, rather it is lack of time and cost overruns, Union Minister of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Paban Singh Ghatowar has said.

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“The Indian government ordered that every ministry, except ministry of ocean development and ministry of science and technology, must spend or invest 10 percent of the budget in northeastern states.

“Moreover, the ministry of development of north eastern region has its own budget. With these huge monetary funds, we should solve most of the problems if we implement it well,” Ghatowar said at an interactive session organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) here Friday.

“As many as 26 national projects are coming up in this region, but there has been delay in completion of those projects, resulting in cost and time overruns,” he noted.

The ministry is hopeful of completing the Gas Cracker Project by July 2013 as the project is expected to provide one lakh jobs.

On the connectivity problems in northeastern states, Ghatowar said: “Along with the waterways and roads, air route has to be exploited. I think we should have air hub in Guwahati for not only air connectivity between northeastern states and rest of the country, but also for better connectivity among the six states.”

“We have so many air fields as compared to Haryana and Punjab, but they are not being used now. We have to use these,” he added.