Itanagar: The Centre has approved in principal an East-West Corridor for Arunachal Pradesh to boost economic activities in the state, the assembly was informed today.
“The state government has proposed to create special economic zones along the foothill areas of the state and demanded the Centre for an East West corridor from Tawang to Khonsa, which had been approved in principal,” Chief Minister Nabam Tuki said while participating in budget discussion.
He said, the survey and investigation for the ambitious project would be carried out this fiscal.
Responding to the members suggestions on the Budget 2014-15 which was presented on July 26 last, Tuki, who also holds the Finance portfolio disclosed that a tentative budget was prepared after due consultation with the state's line departments.
“It was tentative because the Planning Commission is yet to finalise the plan allocation for the state,” he disclosed and added that the hike in the budget in comparison to last year was due to inclusion of all Centrally sponsored schemes (CSS) in the state's exchequer as per directive of the Centre.
“Out of 130 CSS, the Centre has reduced the number to 60 this year after eliminating or merging small schemes. “Funds against all the Central schemes will be distributed to the respective departments from the state exchequer where it will be perked initially,” he said and added that the fund against PMGSY and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) have already been released to the respective departments.
While urging all the members to take collective responsibility for proper monitoring of the Central schemes and other developmental projects, the chief minister also advised the departments for time-bound submission of utilization certificates against all central schemes so that more fund could be obtained from the Centre.
Asserting that priority would be attached on all need-based schemes, Tuki informed the House that a comprehensive policy would be framed to implement all the schemes in the state and assured all the members to incorporate their suggestions in the budget.
Stating that special thrust was given on border area development in the budget, the chief minister informed that it was aimed to check migration of people from international borders to urban areas and simultaneously develop those areas.
He said, the budget 2014-15 also prioritized three sectors namely hydropower, horticulture and tourism.
Tuki said that the state government has been trying to overcome all impediments while executing hydro projects in the state.
“The state government is incurring a loss of 5 crore per day from the Lower Subansiri Project at Gerukamukh, work on which was suspended since December, 2011 after protests from anti-dam protagonists in neighbouring Assam,” he said and exuded hope that within the next five years, the state would get 300 to 500 mw power from various projects under execution in the state, to tide over the crisis.
Later the house passed the Budget 2014-15 by voice votes along with the Arunachal Pradesh Appropriation (No 2) Bill 2014 presented in the House during the day.