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Authors

Dikshu C. Kukreja
Dikshu C. Kukreja
Mr. V. Raman Kumar
Mr. V. Raman Kumar
Ms. Chandra Ganjoo
Ms. Chandra Ganjoo
Sanjay Bhatia
Sanjay Bhatia
Aprameya Radhakrishna
Aprameya Radhakrishna
Colin Shah
Colin Shah
Shri P.R. Aqeel Ahmed
Shri P.R. Aqeel Ahmed
Dr. Vidya Yeravdekar
Dr. Vidya Yeravdekar
Alok Kirloskar
Alok Kirloskar
Pragati Khare
Pragati Khare
Devang Mody
Devang Mody
Vinay Kalantri
Vinay Kalantri

PM-DevINE Scheme

PM-DevINE Scheme

Introduction
India’s North Eastern Region (NER) comprises eight states: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. The population of this region is over 45 million, which accounts for about 3.76% of India’s total population. The region covers 8% of India’s total land area and is endowed with natural resources such as oil and gas, and agro-horticultural resources, mineral deposits, and forest resources. It also has immense hydroelectric power potential.

North Eastern Region Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) Growth (values in US$ billion)

Source: ICAR – Agricultural Technology Application Research Institute

The gross state domestic product (GSDP) of NER increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9% from 2014–15 to 2018–19. India ranks 4th in the world in terms of tea exports, owing to NER. Over 50% of the tea produced in the country comes from NER. Thus, NER’s development is among the top priorities of the Indian government and to ensure that the government of India recently launched PM DevINE scheme for the development of NER.

What is the PM-DevINE Scheme?
The Finance Minister of India, Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman, announced Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for North East (PM-DevINE) scheme while presenting Budget 2022–23 on 01 February 2022. Under this scheme, the government will initially allocate Rs. 1,500 crore (US$ 195 million) towards the development of North East India. The scheme will be implemented by the North Eastern Council (NEC) of India. The scheme aims to:

  • Fund infrastructure and social development projects as per the need of the region
  • Promote livelihood activities among the youth and women, and fill the gaps in various sectors in the region
  • Establish proper services for the management of cancer

The government has implemented this scheme (in addition to the existing central and state schemes) as part of its efforts towards improving living conditions in the northeastern states.

Projects Covered Under PM-DevINE Scheme
The government of India is highly focused on transport projects which are essential for the development of North-East India. A large portion of the funds are allocated for the construction of highways and rope-way systems and also a significant portion has been allocated towards healthcare. More funds will be allocated to the states on a need basis.

The PM-DevINE Scheme covers eight projects, with funds earmarked for each project. The list is given below.

Sr. No.

Project Description

Total Cost

1

Establishment of dedicated services for the management of paediatric and adult Haemotolymphoid cancers in North-East India.

Rs. 129 crores (US$ 16.7 million)

2

NECTAR livelihood improvement project (multi-State)

Rs. 67 crores (US$ 8.71 million)

3

Promoting scientific organic agriculture in north-east India (Multi-State)

Rs. 45 crores (US$ 5.85 million)

4

Construction of Aizawl By-pass on Western Side

Rs. 500 crores (US$ 65 million)

5

Gap funding for passenger ropeway system for Pelling to Sanga-Choeling in West Sikkim

Rs. 64 crores (US$ 8.32 million)

6

Gap funding for eco-friendly ropeway (Cable Car) from Dhapper to Bhaleydhynga in South Sikkim

Rs. 58 crores (US$ 7.54 million)

7

Pilot project for the construction of Bamboo Link Road at different locations in various districts in the state of Mizoram

Rs. 100 crores (US$ 13 million)

8

Other projects

Rs. 537 crores (US$ 69.8 million)

Significance of PM-DevINE Scheme to North Eastern Region
The PM-DevINE scheme is considered a boon for North East India. Mr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, the Chief Minister of Assam, rightly stated that the PM-DevINE scheme is the first of its kind and that the government’s commitment towards the north-eastern states is being reflected in deeds and not simply in words. The scheme would provide the following benefits:

  • Investments: The scheme includes funding for projects in infrastructure, healthcare, agriculture and livelihood. This would help improve the standard of living of people in the region.
  • State-specific projects: Mizoram-based projects such as Aizawl bypass and bamboo link roads suggest that Mizoram would be the biggest beneficiary of this initiative, followed by Sikkim. The Aizawl bypass is expected to reduce traffic and congestion. Also, the construction of bamboo link roads for the transport of bamboo from forests would help bamboo growers in remote and inaccessible areas connect better with the outside world, and promote local and regional development.
  • Healthcare: Under the scheme, services for the management of paediatric and adult haemotolymphoid cancers would be established. This would help improve cancer care in the region.
  • Co-existence with other schemes: The scheme would complement the existing schemes in the region rather than substituting any of them. Thus, the north-eastern states will continue to enjoy the benefits provided by the existing schemes.

Other Government Initiatives for North Eastern Region
In addition to the PM-DevINE scheme, the Indian government has launched several initiatives which specifically cater to NER and general schemes that would benefit the whole of India. Some of these schemes are given below:

  • North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme (NESIDS): This scheme aims to improve NER’s infrastructure. The central government will provide funding for the projects to the state governments. The scheme will cover physical infrastructure projects relating to connectivity enhancing tourism and supply of water and power, and social infrastructures projects relating to the education and health sectors. As per the Ministry of Development of the North Eastern Region (M-DoNER), 22 projects worth Rs. 885.4 crore (US$ 115.1 million) have been selected for the funding.
  • North East Venture Fund (NEVF): The NEVF is the first and only dedicated venture fund for NER. This initiative, announced by M-DoNER, aims to promote business growth and skill development among founders in the region; the initial corpus for the initiative is Rs. 100 crore (US$ 13 million). The fund primarily invests in businesses in sectors such as tourism, healthcare, IT, and food processing. The investment size ranges from Rs. 25 lakh (US$ 32,500) to Rs. 10 crore (US$ 1.3 million); the investment horizon is 5–10 years.
  • Other initiatives: The government has launched various other initiatives such as the Schemes of North Eastern Council (NEC) and North East Road Sector Development Scheme (NERSDS) for a period of three years with an outlay of Rs. 4,500 crore (US$ 585 million).

Outlook
NER is an important part of India. It accounts for over a third of India’s water resources and nearly 40% of the hydropower potential. The region has a vast fertile area and large untapped human capital. However, NER has fallen behind due to lack of investments, inadequate infrastructure, geographical isolation, inadequate utilisation of natural resources and so on. The government has implemented various schemes such as PM-DevINE focusing on the development of infrastructure (construction of roads, etc.) and improvement of healthcare and livelihood of people in the region. This would aid in the development of NER as a whole which, in turn, would drive growth in India.

USD/INR Rate: 0.0134

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