IMPHAL, April 27: Member of Parliament (Inner) Dr Thokchom Meinya has initiated debate in the Parliament on the Demands for Grants, General Budget, 2016-17 under the control of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER).
During the debate, the MP stated that the Ministry of DoNER is responsible for the matters relating to planning, execution and monitoring of development schemes and projects in the North Eastern Region.
He maintained that its vision is to accelerate the pace of socio-economic development of the Region so that it may enjoy growth parity with the rest of the country.
Why and how the Ministry of DoNER came into being? he asked, adding that the eight North-eastern States form an integrated geographical unit in the country.
‘The Union Government had set up the Department of Development of North Eastern Region in September, 2001 and upgraded it to a Ministry in May, 2004. Since it has become a full-fledged Ministry, we wish that the Ministry of DoNER is to be headed by a Union Cabinet Minister,’’ he said.
‘’The North Eastern Council consists of the Governors and the Chief Ministers of the region. When the North Eastern Council meet, the DoNER Minister, being the Chairperson of the Council, has to preside over the meeting. He is having some problems in taking decisions on certain points,’’ the MP pointed out.
He mentioned that the Ministry of DoNER is a unique Ministry in the Union Government as its activities are regional and more importantly advocating the special needs of the region to the other Ministries.
He further stated that the North Eastern Council is the nodal agency for the economic and social development of the North Eastern Region, he
Over the last 45 years, NEC has been instrumental in setting in motion a new economic endeavour aimed at removing the basic handicaps that stood in the way of normal development of the Region and has ushered in an era of new hope in this backward area full of great potentialities, he asserted.
He reiterated that the amount of Demands for Grants submitted to the vote of the House stands at Rs.540.83 crore Capital as against Rs.1,625.84 crore Revenue.
Referring to the Schemes of North Eastern Council and NLCPR, Non Lapsable Central Pool of Resources, MP Meinya said the fund allocation for these Schemes is too less.
‘’I am afraid that it may not be able to serve any purpose at all. It appears that this Government is not at all interested to develop the North Eastern Region,’’ he drew attention of the House.
‘’Manipur is credited with introducing polo to the world and also the famous Ras Leela of Manipur. The UNESCO recognized Nat Sankritana of Manipur. The freedom fighters like Bir Tikendrajit, Thangal General, Paona Brajabashi, Rani Gaidinlu to mention a few and of course, Olympic medallist Mary Kom,’’ he acknowledged.
Saying that the State of Manipur and other North Eastern States had been facing a serious insurgent movement around the beginning of 1960s which according to him requires a political solution, MP Meinya expressed that instead the Government of India promulgated Armed Forced (Special) Powers Act, 1958 (AFSPA).