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FM pitches Nagaland for investment

Asks bankers to open more branches in districts as govt wants financial inclusion of all people and to reach the benefits of all govt schemes to all eligible people

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Dimapur: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday said that Nagaland has huge resources and it needs good exposure for investment.

After a three-day visit to the northeastern state, the Union Finance Minister said in Dimapur that industries can come to Nagaland to utilise the available resources.

"From the Finance Ministry side, we would see enough bank excess in all the districts. Banking facilities can be availed through mobile banking facilities. There are 271 bank branches functioning in different districts of Nagaland with 94 branches in Dimapur," she told the media before leaving the state for Delhi. "In the bankers' conclave and credit outreach programme in Nagaland capital Kohima on Tuesday, I have asked the bankers to open more branches in the districts where there is no adequate number of bank branches. The government wants financial inclusion of all people and to reach the benefits of all government schemes to all the eligible people." Giving details about how the Centre helped Nagaland, the Finance Minister said that under the tax devolution, the state got Rs 13,782 crore in 2014-2019, while it received Rs 3,844 crore in 2009-2014. She said that under the category of grants and aid, Nagaland received Rs 29,483 crore in 2014-2019 against Rs 20,812 crore during 2009-2014. In the current fiscal (2022-23), the state got Finance Commission grants of Rs 4,773 crore. The Minister said that during the Covid pandemic, all the states including Nagaland received special financial assistance for the development of infrastructure and the financial aid helped the states in a big way. For building infrastructure, Rs 1 lakh crore would also be given to all the states.

Under the new scheme, Prime Minister's Development Initiative for North-East (PM-DevINE), she said that Nagaland may submit capital expenditure projects up to an amount of Rs 1,600 crore. Sitharaman, while presenting the Union Budget 2022-23 in February, announced the PM-DevINE, to be implemented through the North-Eastern Council and an initial allocation of Rs 1,500 crore was allocated for the new scheme. Under the Smart City Mission projects, she said that 17 of the 38 were completed in Nagaland and Kohima city alone got Rs 245 crore under the mission.

The Union Finance Minister, who during her three day visit to Nagaland attended the Bankers' conclave and credit outreach programme and Nagaland Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Investment Conclave 2022 in Nagaland capital Kohima, also stressed the need of all Central government schemes including PM-Kisan and Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana to reach to all the beneficiaries across the state.

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