Industry in Northeast hails increase in budgetary allocation

Finance Minister Piyush Goyal proposed to increase the allocation for the region by 21 per cent to Rs.58,166 crore in 2019-20 budget estimates over 2018-19.

Published: 01st February 2019 06:11 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st February 2019 06:11 PM   |  A+A-

Budget (Express Illustration)

Budget (Express Illustration)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: The industry has hailed the Centre’s increase in budgetary allocation for the Northeast.

Finance Minister Piyush Goyal proposed to increase the allocation for the region by 21 per cent to Rs.58,166 crore in 2019-20 budget estimates over 2018-19.

Ishantor Sobhapandit, regional director of Indian Chamber of Commerce, said the increase in allocation was a “good move”.

“It’s a good move and a feel good factor. However, Northeast deserved this hike. The sooner the allocation is made, it is the better. We have seen the lack of activities despite funds being allocated. As a result, the budgetary allocation went back,” he said. 

Budget analyst and former chairman of Federation of Industry and Commerce of North Eastern Region (FINER), RS Joshi, also described the hike in budgetary allocation for Northeast as a “good move”.

“By increasing the allocation, they (Centre) would, possibly, like to complete the ongoing projects in a time-bound manner. They are virtually working on a war-footing to complete all infrastructure projects in Northeast, be it road or rail. The increase in allocation will help in the implementation of the projects,” he said.

He also said that in the Budget, the BJP sought to take credit for all that the party-led NDA government did in the past five years by smartly highlighting some projects.

Asked if the high increase in allocation was an attempt by the BJP to woo the voters ahead of Lok Sabha elections, Joshi said the people of Northeast would take many things into consideration before voting.

“While they (Centre) will take credit for the increase in allocation, there are some other issues as well, particularly the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. So, it remains to be seen how the BJP handles the situation. Possibly, they will try to come out with some formula. People will consider in totality before voting,” he added.

In his Budget speech, Goyal said the people of Northeast had received significant benefits of infrastructure development. He said while Arunachal had come on the air map recently, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram were connected by the railway.

He said the Centre would introduce the movement of container cargo to Northeast by augmenting navigation capacity of the Brahmaputra. He also highlighted some rail and road projects, which were stuck for years, completed by the Central government.

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