A Plan a Day keeps Troubles at Bay: The Flood Programme
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, on his first visit to New Delhi after the swearing in of the new government last month, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his official residence on June 12th, 2019 and handed over a memorandum urging the Central Government for the revival of flood management programme (FMP).
Chief Minister Sonowal said that the FMP was an important source of funding for taking up flood and erosion management work in the State. The revival of FMP would enable the State government to take up the flood protection works on a renewed momentum.
Sonowal also made it clear that Assam is one of the most disaster-prone states in India. Apart from flood being a major problem, river bank erosion also poses serious damage to the socio-economic scenario of the State.
However, he maintained that since ‘river erosion’ is not included in the SDRF guidelines, quick and timely steps to counter erosion are not possible. He, therefore, urged upon the Prime Minister to take steps to consider ‘river erosion’ as an eligible calamity for consideration of assistance under NDRF/ SDRF.
Externally Aided Project
Sonowal also sought Prime Minister’s support in expeditious approval of multiple Externally Aided Project (EAP) proposals worth over Rs 20,000 crore in key sectors such as Urban Development, Fisheries, Roads/Bridges, Tourism, Healthcare, Power, Water Resources.
With regard to North East Industrial Development Scheme (NEIDS) 2017, Sonowal requested Prime Minister Modi to impress upon the concerned ministry to make it more attractive to the industries with larger investments (Rs 10 crore and above). He also stated that MSME sectors will flourish only if larger investments come into the State. He also said that the cap of the Central Capital Investment Incentive under NEIDS 2017 may be enhanced to at least Rs 50 crore in order to attract mega industries.
Act East Policy
The Chief Minister observed that with the path-breaking Act East Policy, the BJP led NDA Government has repositioned the Northeast region as the country’s expressway to the ASEAN.
In order to take full advantage of this initiative and to ensure that the Northeast Region becomes the “New Engine” of India’s growth, Sonowal sought urgent intervention of the Prime Minister for early completion of Asian Trilateral Highway from Mae Sot in Thailand via Myanmar up to Moreh in Manipur which would go a long way in restoration trade links of the North East with ASEAN.
Referring to Agreement with Bangladesh for access of Bangladesh Ports to Vessels from North East India, Chief Minister Sonowal requested the Prime Minister for reaching an agreement to use Chittagong and Mongla ports for boosting trade of the North East with rest of the country through Bangladesh.
Revival of paper mills
He also drew the attention of the Prime Minister for his intervention for the revival of two units Nagaon Paper Mill, Jagiroad and Cachar Paper Mill, Silchar of Hindustan Paper Corporation (HPC) in Assam. He also maintained that these two units are crucial not only in providing a livelihood to more than two thousand employees but also about two lakh families who supply raw materials for these units. The revival of these two units is crucial to industrialization in the State.
Thanking Prime Minister Modi for Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Grameen) which has revolutionized housing for the underprivileged, Sonowal also sought his help for the inclusion of the left-out beneficiaries in the Permanent Waiting List of PMAY-G. He said that an expeditious process to include the left-out beneficiaries in the Permanent Waiting List of PMAY-G would provide the benefit of Pucca house to lakhs for people in the state.
Chief Minister Sonowal also said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, the Government of Assam has been working at an accelerated pace, in close coordination with the Union Government and maintained that the funding pattern at 90:10 may be converted into 100 per cent Grant-in-Aid from the Central Government.
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