Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs, GoI, Nirmala Sitharaman held an interactive session with the business community, women entrepreneurs, and media on 24 August 2022 at Rhododendron Hall, Police Officer’s Mess, Chumoukedima.
During the interactive session with the business community and women entrepreneurs, she said instructions have been given to the banks to go over to each district and continue to converge with the existing government schemes and other credit premises of the business sector that will be available. She appealed to the business community to approach the bank when they come to the districts with a proposal of thoughts and with an idea of a business proposition, as it’s going to uphold and strengthen their business.
She mentioned that the business sector is progressing at every stage, and the BAN is looking to promote every local product that will be viable and accessible outside the local area. She added that there is a need to give a push for every district to identify one district and one product that they produce, and that each district will be given all kinds of assistance and facilities by the GoI value chain or producing the local chain which is unique to the districts so that they can segregate, produce and get access to markets.
She further appealed to the business community to be specific in their details of the proposal as the policy is not going to work or come to the ground until and unless it’s specific. She assured that the proposal and grievances of each association have been noted and would be looked into for approval for assistance.
During a press conference with the media, she highlighted the measures/initiatives taken for the North-Eastern states, where a new scheme, PM -DevINE was announced in the union budget 2022-2023, and an initial allocation of Rs 1,500 crore has been made for the new scheme which will fund infrastructure, in the spirit of PM GatiShakti, and social development projects based in felt needs of the Nort-East. Under the special assistance to States for capital expenditure, Rs 2,100.13 crore during the financial year 2020-21 and Rs 2,483.77 crore during the financial year 2021-22 were released to eight North- Eastern states in the form of a 50-year interest-free loan. In the financial year 2022-23, the eight North-Eastern states are expected to receive Rs 6,826 crore under Part- I of the scheme. She also mentioned that special assistance in the form of a Grant in Aid of Rs 219.15 crore to Nagaland was released in 2020-21.
She informed that Tax devolution in Nagaland has increased to Rs 13,782 crore in 2014-19 compared with just Rs 3, 844 crore in 2009-14. Grants in AUD increased to Rs 29,483 crore in 2914-19 from 20,812 crore in 2019-14. Tax devolution stood at Rs 3,409 crore in 2020-21. The devolution amount increased to Rs 4,875 crore in 2021-22 and Rs 4,647 crore in 2022-23(BE) of which Rs 813 crore has already been transferred to the State. Finance commission grants from the centre to Nagaland are budgeted to Rs 4, 773 crore in 2022-23, a significant increase over the Rs. 1283 crore released in 2009-10.
On the banking & financial inclusion in Nagaland, she highlighted that in Jan Dhan Accounts the number of accounts holder is 3.50 lakh. The number of bank branches in Nagaland is 271 and bank branches in PSB/RRB is 200. Direct benefit transfer for Nagaland is Rs 287 crore cumulative and under KCC the number of loans sanctioned is 24,901; under Stand up India scheme accounts sanctioned is 522 and for women 58.
Nirmala also highlighted the smart cities mission, where she informed that 17 out of 35 projects of Kohima smart City are completed and the central Government has released a total of Rs 245 crore, out of which Rs 195.99 crore has been utilized as of 8 July 2022. The regular release of funds to 213603 beneficiaries of PM Kisan; under PMJAY, 81 empanelled hospitals & total of 2.54 lakh e-health cards have been issued; under PM Ujjawal Yojana, 85,283 Gas connections to various beneficiaries have been issued and a total of Rs 48 crore released for the year 2022-23 for the project; under PM SVANidhi Scheme, number if loans disbursed to street vendors is 1733 and Rs 194.65 lakhs loans disbursed to various beneficiaries.
A welcome note was delivered by Commissioner & Secretary, Industries & Commerce, Kekhrievor Kevichusa, IPoS. Presentations were made by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Nagaland Chapter, Business Association of Nagas, Women Entrepreneurs Network Nagaland, UNCTAD- Empretec India Foundation, and Confederation of Nagaland Chamber of Commerce and Industry.