Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Saturday said the Centre is leaving no stone unturned for the development of the northeast. After addressing BJP workers on the Union Budget, he said the overall allocation for the northeast has seen a quantum jump of Rs 8,000 crore. "In last year's budget, the total allocation for the northeast was Rs 68,000 crore, which has gone up to Rs 76,000 crore -- a quantum jump of Rs 8,000 crore. Now it is up to the states to utilise all the budgetary support," Rijiju said.
Apart from this, an amount of Rs 1,500 crore was also sanctioned under the Prime Minister's Development Initiative for North East (PM-DevINE), he added. "This Rs 1,500 crore is an initial amount and it will be utilised in those sectors that are not covered by any other programmes, policies or schemes launched by the Government of India," the Union minister said.
"The prime minister is so thoughtful that nothing should be left out. No stone will be left unturned when it comes to the development of the northeast. The extra Rs 1,500 crore as the initial amount has been given to the North Eastern Council (NEC)," he added. Stating that he is taking special interest to ensure that some of the schemes envisioned under the budget are implemented properly, Rijiju said it is the moral duty of everyone to ensure that the funds allocated in the Union Budget are utilised prudently.
He also expressed confidence that the people of Meghalaya will wholeheartedly welcome the Union Budget as it has provisions for every section of the society. The BJP leader assured people that nobody will be left out when it comes to electricity or gas connections and portable drinking water at their doorstep, adding that all critical requirements of the common people have been taken care of under the budget. Referring to the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government led by the National People's Party (NPP), he said, "Our party is part of the government. I am sure that Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, who is very young and very dynamic, will ensure that all the programmes envisioned under the Union Budget are implemented effectively in the state."
Rijiju also said as a member of a tribal community from the northeast, it is an honour for him to be the law minister of the country. "It took 75 years for a tribal to be the law minister of the country. It is a huge responsibility that the prime minister has given to me. I feel that to become the law minister of the country is not an honour for Kiren Rijiju, it is a matter of honour for the entire northeast and all the tribal communities in the country," he said.
Rijiju said this is the first time that there are two cabinet ministers and three ministers of state from the northeast in the Union council of ministers, adding that this shows the importance the prime minister attaches to the region. "Normally, democracy runs with numbers, but for the prime minister, numbers do not matter all the time. His emotional connect with the people of the northeast has made him give the region a huge representation in his council of ministers, that too with important portfolios," he added.
With PTI Inputs