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Jaitley agrees to integrated package for border areas

Jaitley agrees to integrated package for border areasItanagar: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has agreed to an integrated package to usher in holistic development in the border areas of Arunachal Pradesh, an official release said here today.

The offer comes in the wake of Arunachal Chief Minister Nabam Tuki’s appeal for a special impetus for the development of border areas in the state to check urban migration, a press release from the Chief minister’s office (CMO) said.

Jaitley, who also holding the Defence and Corporate Affairs portfolio, conveyed the message to Tuki when he met him in New Delhi yesterday, the release said.

The chief minister has laid special emphasis on boosting connectivity and the enhancement of administrative and basic essential services in the border areas, the release said.

The Finance Minister assured the CM that he would take up the border roads development issue with Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to expedite the completion of various projects.

The Finance minister also said that he would take measures to connect the 10 un-connected administrative centres to expand the scope of public delivery services in the state, the release said.

While discussing the fiscal condition of the state, Jaitley assured all possible help from his side with respect to the release of pending TFC (Thirteenth Finance Commission) funds and other financial support due to the state.

In accordance with the PM’s positive response regarding the matter of a separate window of domestic funding in lieu of projects funded by external agencies like ADB and World Bank, the minister assured to resolve the matter on priority to compensate the state, the release added.

It said Jaitley would visit Arunachal Pradesh along with the Chief of Army Staff after the Parliament session.

The union minister would also visit Tawang to inaugurate the National Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports (NIMAS) at Dirang.

In another development, Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari has agreed to the CM’s proposal for relaxing the norms of PMGSY road projects for the state, the release said.

The CM had been consistently lobbying for a flexible regime under PMGSY based on unique local conditions in order to foster rural roads connectivity.

The CM also appealed to Gadkari for increasing the coverage of roads under PMGSY to unconnected habitations in the remote areas of the state, it said.

Tuki also called for 978 kms of roads in the state to be declared as National Highways and proposed the ministry to take up construction of roads and bridges which are critical for the development of hydropower projects in the state.

The State Government has identified seven such projects along the river basins at an estimated cost of Rs 748.50 crore, the release said.

They also discussed the status of various road projects under Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for the North East (SARDP-NE), district connectivity and BRO Roads, it added.