The north eastern council (NEC) is the nodal agency for the economic and social development of the North Eastern Region. Over the last forty one years, NEC has been instrumental in setting in motion a new economic endeavour aimed at removing the basic handicaps that stood in the way of development of the region. NEC has taken several initiatives for the balanced development of the Region, that inter-alia includes the following:
(i) NEC was instrumental in the preparation of North Eastern Region Vision 2020 that provides the road-map, outlines the goals, identifies the challenges and suggests implementation strategies for various sectors for peace, prosperity and development of the North Eastern Region. It helps in formulation of an integrated plan for the development of the North Eastern Region.
(ii) Since inception, NEC has sanctioned and completed construction of 9800 Kms of roads, 77 bridges, 12 Inter State Bus Terminals / Truck Terminals in the Region. The road projects supported by NEC are mostly regional in nature. NEC in association with Airports Authority of India (AAI) has undertaken improvement of 10 airports in NER, viz, Guwahati, Lilabari, Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Dimapur, Silchar, Tezpur, Imphal,Agartala and Umroi (Meghalaya). The funding pattern for these works is 60% by the NEC and 40% by the AAI as per the MOU signed in April, 2000. During 2012-13, NEC has sanctioned 5 more airport development projects on the similar funding pattern. In addition, developments of Tezu and Lengpui airports have been sanctioned by NEC. In order to improve air-connectivity, NEC has also supported viability gap funding to Alliance Air for operating air services within the Region from 2002 to December 2011.
(iii) Since inception, NEC has contributed a 694.50 MW of capacity addition (630 MW hydro and 64.50 MW thermal) to the installed capacity in the NE Region. Sixty two number of system improvement schemes like transmission, sub-transmission and distribution and upgrading of the sub-stations have been taken up under NEC funding, which includes transmission / distribution lines of length 2022.52 Circuit Kilometers, total 1494.80 MVA capacity sub-stations spread over the region. NEC has partnered Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd. for preparation of Detailed Project Report for ‘Strengthening of Transmission & Sub-transmission of Power System in the NE Region including Sikkim’. NEC is also supporting viability gap funding to Renewal Resources of Energy schemes which include micro/mini hydel projects, solar hybrid and wind energy projects, etc.
(iv) Community Based Sustainable Livelihood Projects including the Augmentation of the North Eastern Region Community Resource Management Project (NERCORMP) is jointly funded by NEC and International Fund for Agricultural Development. NERCORMP, which was launched in May, 1999, covered 860 villages and out-reached to 39161 households living in some of the most inaccessible remote hill districts of North East. In Phase-I of NERCORMP that was completed in September 2008, two districts each of Assam, Manipur and Meghalaya were covered. The success of the project resulted in NERCORMP Phase –II which was approved during 2010-11 to cover 466 villages across adjoining to Phase-I Project over the next five years.
The Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region is mandated with matters relating to the development of North Eastern Region as provided in the Allocation of Business Rules of Government of India, which includes, inter-alia, the administration of Non Lapsable Central Pool Resources. This Ministry coordinates with the Central Ministries / Line Ministries in respect of various projects and plan schemes, which are directed towards the development of NE States. It advocates policy/ changes therein to address the special needs of the North Eastern States with Central Ministries/ Departments. It also acts as the Ministry to anchor NEC.
NEC is a statutory body under the Ministry of DoNER and functions in accordance with the North Eastern Council Act, 1971, as amended by NEC (Amendment ) Act, 2002. The major functions of NEC include regional planning, monitoring and executing projects/schemes through the State Governments and other agencies as per their priorities and needs.