Cabinet announces new Rs6,600-cr development initiative for North East

The central government has allocated an additional Rs6,600 crore for development of the North East for the remaining four years of the 15th Finance Commission from 2022-23 to 2025-26.   

The union cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday approved a new scheme, Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for North East Region (PM-DevINE) - a central sector scheme with 100 per cent central funding, to be implemented by the ministry of development of North Eastern Region (DoNER).
The centre aims to complete the PM-DevINE projects by 2025-26 so that there are no committed liabilities beyond this year. This implies front-loading of the sanctions under the scheme in 2022-23 and 2023-24 primarily. While expenditure would continue to be incurred during 2024-25 and 2025-26, focused attention will be given to complete the sanctioned PM-DevINE projects according to a cabinet release.
PM-DevINE will lead to creation of infrastructure, support industries, social development projects and create livelihood activities for youth and women, thus leading to employment generation says the release.
The scheme will be implemented by the ministry of DoNER through North Eastern Council or Central Ministries/agencies. Measures would be taken to ensure adequate operation and maintenance of the projects sanctioned under PM-DevINE so that they are sustainable. To limit construction risks of time and cost overrun, falling on the Government projects would be implemented on Engineering-procurement-Construction (EPC) basis, to the extent possible.
The objectives of PM-DevINE are to:
  • Fund infrastructure convergently, in the spirit of PM Gati Shakti;
  • Support social development projects based on felt needs of the NER;
  • Enable livelihood activities for youth and women; and
  • Fill the development gaps in various sectors.
The scheme does not include other MDoNER schemes for the development of North Eastern Region. The average size of projects under other MDoNER schemes is about Rs.12 crore only. PM-DevINE will provide support to infrastructure and social development projects which may be larger in size and will also provide an end-to-end development solution instead of isolated projects. It will be ensured that there is no duplication of project support under PM-DevINE with any of the other schemes of MDoNER or those of any other ministry/department.
PM-DevINE, was announced in the Union Budget 2022-23 to address development gaps in the North Eastern Region (NER). 
While some of the projects to be approved for 2022-23 under PM-DevINE are part of the Budget announcement, projects with substantial socio-economic impact or sustainable livelihood opportunities for the general public (eg, basic infrastructure in all primary health care centres, comprehensive facilities in government primary and secondary schools, etc) may be considered in the future.
The justification for announcement of PM-DevINE is that the parameters of NE states in respect of Basic Minimum Services (BMS) are well below the national average and there are critical development gaps as per the BER District Sustainable Development Goad (SDG) Index 2021-22 prepared by NITI Aayog, UNDP and MDoNER. PM-DevINE was announced to address these BMS shortfalls and development gaps.