Budget 2022: Development Initiatives in North-East
Today, Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister (FM), presented the Union Budget 2022 in Parliament. She announced the allocation of INR 1,500 crore for development initiatives in the Northeast. The new reforms "will enable livelihood activities of youth and women" in the Northeast.
A new scheme, the PM's Development Initiative for Northeast (PM-DevINE), will be executed through the North-Eastern Council. It will finance infrastructure in the spirit of PM Gati Shakti and social developmental projects established on the felt needs of the Northeast. This will encourage livelihood activities for youth and women, filling the voids in different sectors. The scheme is however, not a replacement for existing central or state schemes. While the central ministries may also pose their candidate projects, priority will be given to those posed by the states. The FM also said that villages on the country's northern border would be covered under a new vibrant village programme to enhance development.
In the pre-budget parliament session, President Ram Nath Kovind stated that the government is dedicated to providing better infrastructure and connectivity in the North-Eastern states. The states slated to benefit include Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Sikkim, Nagaland, and Tripura.
President Kovind also appreciated the government's actions concerning the country's northeast region. He said, "Rail and air connectivity are no longer a dream for the people of the Northeast; they are now able to experience them. It is a matter of pride for the country that all the capitals of the North-eastern states are now being brought on the railway map."