The government's development initiatives in the Northeastern states got a major budgetary push on Friday as Finance Minister Piyush Goyal proposed to increase the allocation to the region by 21 per cent to Rs 58,166 crore in the interim budget for 2019-20. Presenting the interim budget 2019-20 in Parliament on Friday, Goyal said the people of the Northeast have also received significant benefits of infrastructure development. "The allocation for the Northeastern areas is being proposed to be increased by 21 per cent to Rs 58,166 crore in 2019-20 budget estimates over 2018-19," he said.
Goyal said Arunachal Pradesh has come on the air map recently and Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram have come on India's rail map for the first time. The finance minister said the government will introduce container cargo movement to the Northeast by improving the navigation capacity of the Brahmaputra river. Goyal said the projects stuck for decades like the Bogibeel rail-cum-road bridge in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh have been completed. With the commissioning of the Pakyong airport in Sikkim, the number of operational airports in the country has crossed 100, he said.
The budget allocation for some of the major schemes being implemented in the Northeastern region is: Rs 580 crore for various schemes of the North Eastern Council, Rs 931 crore under Central Pool of Resources for Northeast and Sikkim, Rs 674 crore under other subsidy payable including for North Eastern Region and Rs 1,700 crore for refund of Central and Integrated GST to Industrial Units in Northeastern region and Himalayan states.