Rationale for Earmarking 10% of Annual Budgets by Central Ministries for the North Eastern Region

What is 10% GBS for NER?
  • Earmarking 10% of their Annual Plan Budgets by Central Ministries for the North Eastern Region is a bold step by the Union Government to address the development deficit of the NER. 10% of the Annual Plan Budget of 52 Ministries of the Union Government is earmarked every year for spending in NER since 1998-99 even though the NER has 7.9% (2,62,179 sq. km out of 3287263 sq. km) of India's land mass and 3.76% (4.55 crore out of 121 crore) of population as per Census 2011.
  • In October 1996, the Central Government announced "New initiatives for the North Eastern Region" outlining number of measures for its development. One of these was the policy decision to earmark at least 10% of Plan Budget(s) of the Central Ministries/Departments for the development of NE States. A preliminary exercise undertaken by he Planning Commission in consultation with the various Ministries / Department revealed that the expenditure on the North East by some Union Ministries during 1997-98 fell short of the stipulated 10% of the GBS for that year. Planning Commission thereafter explored the possibility of creating a Central Pool of Resources for the North East out of the unspent amount of stipulated 10% of GBS to support infrastructure development projects in the North East.
  • Since 1998 - 1999 all Ministries/ Departments of GoI (except a few specifically exempted ones) are earmarking at least 10% of their annual budget, less allocation for externally aided schemes and local or event specific schemes /projects for expenditure in the North Eastern Region. At present, there are 53 non-exempted Ministries / Departments which earmark funds for the NER (including the Ministry of Railways and the newly created Department of Pharmaceuticals).
  • The unutilized portion of the funds earmarked by the non-exempted Ministries is surrendered at the close of each financial year in the Non-Lapsable Pool of resources which is being maintained on a Performa basis by the Budget Division of the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance.
Size of the Pool
Accruals and Releases
Releases under NLCPR Scheme since 1998-99
How is the Pool Used?