Guwahati, Tuesday, August 17, 2010
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DoNER bid to project NE in CWG
Spl Correspondent
 NEW DELHI, Aug 16 – The Commonwealth Games may be little more than a month away, but the Ministry for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) is still negotiating with the Organising Committee on showcasing the heritage and culture of the North Eastern Region (NER).

 The Ministry is in constant touch with the Commonwealth Organising Committee and consultations are being held at various levels, was all Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Bijoy Krishna Handique said in reply to a question by Rajiv Pratap Rudy.

Rudy wanted to know while the entire country celebrates the biggest ever Games in October, no steps have been taken to showcase the rich heritage and wealth of the North Eastern States.

Handique further said under the media campaign plan of the DoNER ministry, two video clippings showing the NER, as a tourist destination and its rich culture would be telecast on various channels during the period of the Commonwealth Games.

Efforts are being made to exhibit and promote marketing of both traditional and innovative designs, models of handloom and handicrafts products during the Games.

Meanwhile, development and promotion of tourism may still be a far cry in the region, but the Union Tourism Ministry has spend over Rs 490 crore in the North East, more than the mandated 10 per cent Budgetary allocation during the last three years.

The Minister also claimed that according to all indications, investments into the region has shown an upward trend since 2007, when the new industrial package was introduced.

Replying to a question, Handique said that under the North Eastern Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy 2007, Rs 91.83 crore has been released under Central Capital Investment Subsidy Scheme.

Besides, Rs 69.39 crore has been released as Central Interest Subsidy Scheme and Rs 3.60 crore as Central Comprehensive Insurance Scheme.

However, it is the Central Transport Subsidy Scheme that the Centre has spent the most. Since 1971, the Central Government has released Rs 2267.92 crore.

Meanwhile, the Minister in reply to a separate question, Handique admitted that lack of connectivity, in road, rail and air, is in fact, one of the major bottlenecks for the development of the NER.

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