Rs 1900 crore non-lapsable fund for Railways in NE

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New Delhi: GUWAHATI: A dime compared to the demand for a Rs. 70,000 crore non-lapsable fund for railways, finally, the government allotted Rs. 1900 crore in the current fiscal to create a dedicated North East Region Rail Development Fund (NERRDF) for railway’s national projects in the Northeast. The Federation of Industry and Commerce of North-eastern Region has been seeking setting up of an Accelerated Rail Development Fund for NE (ARDF-NE) with a budget outlay of Rs 70,000 crore for quite some time.

This is the second non-lapsable fund of its kind for the northeastern region. The first was the Non-lapsable Central Pool of Resources created in the Union Budget of 1998-99 during the tenure of then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajapayee.

The NERRDF has been created with funds from the railway and finance ministry. It will expedite development of rail network in the North Eastern states. Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure had approved setting up the fund earlier this year when Mamata Banerjee was railway minister.

The NERRDF will be funded to the tune of 25% through Railway Gross Budgetary Support (GBS) and balance 75% by Ministry of Finance as non-dividend additionally to GBS. The government said the funds to be provided as non-dividend bearing additional budgetary support by Ministry of Finance may be allocated at the beginning of the year.

iGovernment Bureau reported that railways have taken up 12 new lines, four gauge conversion and two doubling projects to increase connectivity in the region. Seventy-Six kilometres of new line section and 165 kilometres of gauge conversion has to be completed in this period.



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