Shillong: Minister of Law and Justice of the Union Kiren Rijiju on Saturday addressed BJP party workers in Shillong on the Union Budget recently tabled in Parliament by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Briefing the media later, Rijiju commended the Center for the overall allocation of funds for the Northeast in the budget. According to the Union Minister, in last year’s budget, the total allocation for the North East was just over Rs 68,000 crore, which now stands at over Rs 76,000. cr – a “quantum leap” of nearly Rs 8,000 crore.
Mentioning that it has been an honor for him to serve in the Cabinet, especially as a tribal from the North East, the Minister said, “On behalf of the people of the North East, I think it is an honor to to be there in the Cabinet. under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modiji, and as a person from the northeast and as a tribal from the northeast, it is a huge honor to become the country’s first tribal law minister.
The minister said it took nearly 75 years for an Indian tribal to become the country’s justice minister. “So it’s a huge responsibility and a huge trust that the Honorable Prime Minister has placed in me. So I think becoming the country’s justice minister is not an honor for Kiren Rijiju, it’s an honor for the whole Northeast and the whole tribal community in the country,” Rijiju said.
He also pointed out that this is the first time that there are two NE Ministers and 3 State Ministers in the Union Council of Ministers at the same time.
“It shows how important the Honorable Prime Minister is to the North East. Normally, democracy works with numbers, but for the Prime Minister, numbers don’t matter all the time. It was his emotional connection, especially with the people of the North East, that led him to give huge representation in important Cabinet portfolios,” the Minister added.
Regarding the Union budget, Rijiju said that when it comes to infrastructure, which requires huge investments, in the last seven and a half years alone, the region has received budget support that has never been received over the past five or six decades.
This support includes railway projects, airports, highways and roads for villages in rural areas and any important critical support for the development of soft infrastructure in the field of education, health and other sectors.
The PM DevINE scheme with an initial allocation of Rs 1500 cr will also be used in sectors which are not covered by any other scheme, policy or scheme, the minister said.
“What we have seen is that in the NE, due to its unique geographic and regional character, there are critical areas, structures, issues that are not addressed by existing programs and policies. Many areas are left out or leave a void. This special amount is intended to fill all these gaps, so that nothing is left empty,” Rijiju said.
The Union Minister said that being from the North East region, he has a particular interest in ensuring that some of the programs allocated under the budget are properly implemented. He added that it is a moral duty on everyone’s part to ensure that all funds are used prudently.
Rijiju said that in a place like Shillong, which is known as a very progressive city and being a very old city, the people of the state will definitely welcome the Union budget wholeheartedly because it has made provisions for every section of society.
“No one will be left behind, whether it’s the electricity connection or the gas connection or the drinking water at your doorstep, the banking accessibility; all the essential requirements of ordinary people are taken care of under this budget,” Rijiju said.
On the MDA government in Meghalaya which is in alliance with the BJP, Rijiju said he hopes the young and dynamic CM Conrad Sangma will ensure that all programs and amounts allocated under the Union budget 22-23 are implemented effectively.
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