Paban Singh Ghatowar, Hon’ble Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Government of India paid a two-day visit to Sikkim from 2nd November to 3rd November 2011. The Hon’ble Minister was accompanied by P.K. Pattaniak, Joint Secretary, Ministry of DoNER.
On arrival, the Hon’ble Minister called on H.E. the Governor and the Hon’ble Chief Minister. The Hon’ble Chief Minister hosted a dinner in his honour at Samman Bhawan on 2nd November 2011 which was also attended by H.E. the Governor, Hon’ble Ministers and other dignitaries.
The Hon’ble Minister of State for DoNER chaired a meeting at Chintan Bhawan on 3rd November 2011 at 9.AM to review the NLCPR & NEC projects in Sikkim. The meeting was attended by the Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary and Secretaries. The Minister expressed his satisfaction with the implementation of the projects and lauded Sikkim for being one of the best performing States in the North East Region. He stressed that the pace of work must be hastened especially in view of the recent earthquake in order to avail of the maximum assistance from the Central Government. He informed that the Prime Minister had assured that Sikkim would be granted financial assisatance over and above Rs. 1000 crores already announced and advised that schemes for utilization of this special grant must be finalized on priority basis.
In addition, the Hon’ble Minister of State also informed that the Government of India has launched a new Central Sector Scheme called NLCPR-Central under which funding will be available to Union Ministries/Departments for taking up projects in North Eastern States with the objective to enhance budgetary flow over and above the existing mandatory 10% earmarking. The MoS announced that under this new scheme, one of the first projects to be taken up will be one relating to improving the power transmission lines in Sikkim.