The North Eastern states of India have often faced a very step-motherly attitude from the government at the Center.
The people of India come to know very little about this region of the country as it is, mostly because the North East is a peace-loving region and is hardly in the news for all the wrong reasons.
However, it is very much a part of the country and hence, it becomes difficult for the people of this region to keep their peace when they see that the Center is cutting benefits from them.
The North Eastern region remains to be that area where there is maximum number of tribes and the number of SC and STs are also quite high. To make sure that development is reaching all, the center needs to allocate funds and when that funding is cut down, it can raise questions in the minds of the people.
That is exactly what has happened in the Union budget of 2017- 2018. According to the budget, the total allocation of funds for the North East has apparently increased and the amount has gone up from Rs 32, 180 crore last year to Rs 43244.64 crore this year.
This amount is also exclusive of the TSP and the SCSP allocations. In addition to that, another amount of Rs 716 crore from the TSP and Rs 53 crore from the SCSP has also been allocated for the Ministry of Development for the North East region.
However, everything stops there. Apart from that one major allocation in skill development, the funding from every other segment has been cut.
The North East is a region where it is not just important to allocate funds in the name of development. If the people are really prospering, new schemes have to be introduced and so far there has been none this year. There have also been major budgetary cuts in programs related to food and public distribution, and this has been a major blow because adequate production and distribution of food has always remained to be a problem of the North East, especially during the harsh winters and the heavy monsoons.
Electronics and information technology has also taken a back seat and the Center, it seems has just refused to look into issues like saving the environment, maintenance of the forests, issues of climate change which can disturb the ecological balance of the region and urban development.
There have been major cuts in the education of tribal people and it is quite perplexing that the Government is doing little to pull up this section of the population and make them self-sufficient.
The irony here is that before the upcoming elections, when the BJP is trying to find a footing in the North East and promises a range of development programs for this region, one might wonder how is that supposed to happen when the basic funding is being cut.