Govt For Concurrent Audits Of Projects In North-eastern States

New Delhi, June 28: | Updated: Jun 29 2002, 05:30am hrs
The government has asked the comptroller & accountant general (CAG) to conduct concurrent audits of the ongoing projects in the North-Eastern (NE) states, said Union minister for North-Eastern region Arun Shourie.

He was speaking at a press conference here on Friday to announce a two-day initiative, North-East Business Summit, to be held in Mumbai between July 19-20. The principal organisers of the summit are the department of North-Eastern region and the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

The government had requested the CAG to conduct concurrent audits of the projects in the NE region in such a way that the work on them was not hampered, Mr Shourie said.

Responding to a query if it is a Catch-22 situation — there is little investment in the region because of terrorist activities there — the minister said it was precisely because of this reason that effort should be made to attract more investment to region. “Terrorism has no ideology, at least in the NE. So, terrorism has become a growth industry,” Mr Shourie said.

He pointed out that the region had immense potential to become gateway to South-East Asia and the world. A situation from which not only this region, but neighbours Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar can also benefit.

“China has 300 missiles pointing in the direction of Taiwan. Yet, Taiwan has investment worth $100 billion,” Mr Shourie said, adding that there was no reason why India could not cooperate with its neighbours when the cooperation is mutually beneficial.

When asked about the achievements of the department of NE, he said that it had managed to revive the wood-based industry which was closed because of an order of SC. “I studied the court order and found that it did not mean closure. We worked out a plan to revive the industry in consultation with the Union ministry of environment and forests and state governments.”