Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for North-east Region
The Central government has approved a new Scheme, Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for North East Region (PM-DevINE), for the remaining four years of the 15th Finance Commission from 2022-23 to 2025-26.
In fact, PM-DevINE was announced in the Union Budget 2022-23 to address development gaps in the North Eastern Region (NER).
Announcement of PMDevINE is yet another instance of the importance being attached to the development of NE Region by the Modi Government.
PMDevINE is an additionality to the quantum of resources available for the development of the NER. It will not be a substitute for existing Central and State Schemes.
The objectives of PM-DevINE are to: (a) Fund infrastructure convergently, in the spirit of PM GatiShakti; (b) Support social development projects based on felt needs of the NER; (c) Enable livelihood activities for youth and women; (d) Fill the development gaps in various sectors.
The PM-DevINE Scheme will have an outlay of Rs.6,600 crore for the four year period from 2022-23 to 2025-26 (remaining years of 15th Finance Commission period).
Efforts will be made 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.
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.
As mentioned already, PM-DevINE 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.
Incidentally, there are other MDoNER Schemes for the development of the 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 ensure 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.
While some of the projects to be approved for 2022-23 under PMDevINE are part of the Budget announcement, projects with substantial socio-economic impact or sustainable livelihood opportunities for the general public (e.g., basic infrastructure in all Primary Health Care Centers, comprehensive facilities in Government Primary and Secondary Schools, etc) may be considered in the future.
The justification for announcement of PMDevINE 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 NER District Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Index 2021-22 prepared by NITI Aayog, UNDP and MDoNER. The new Scheme, PM-DevINE was announced to address these BMS shortfalls and development gaps.
The Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) Meeting, chaired by Union Finance Secretary, held on 28.6.2022 had appraised and recommended the PMDevINE Scheme with 100% Central funding, with an outlay of Rs. 6,600 crore for the 4 year period from 2022-23 to 2025-26 (remaining years of 15th Finance Commission period).
Efforts will be made to complete the PMDevINE 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 PMDevINE projects.