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Ministry of Development of North-East Region

Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for North Eastern Region (PM-DevINE)-issue of revised guidelines

Posted On: 21 AUG 2023 9:02PM by PIB Delhi

The Government's fully funded PM-DevINE scheme, announced in the 2022-23 Union Budget, supports North-East infrastructure and social projects aligned with PM GatiShakti, generating youth and women's livelihoods while addressing sector gaps. Union Cabinet approved the scheme on 12.10.2022. Revised guidelines are essential due to restructuring MDoNER's schemes and aligning with recent Department of Expenditure directives. Earlier guidelines circulated on 29.08.2022.

Effective from 12.10.2022, these guidelines govern all PM-DevINE projects. Actions under previous guidelines (29.08.2022) also subject to the new guidelines from 12.10.2022, pending Competent Authority's approval for resolving any issues."

Under 'PM-DevINE', all eight North Eastern Indian states, including Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura will be covered. This scheme will complement existing Government of India and State Government initiatives, avoiding duplication by supporting projects not covered elsewhere. MDoNER will oversee project selection, approval, and monitoring in consultation with State Governments, NEC, and concerned Central Ministries, with implementation through NEC or Central Ministries/agencies. The guidelines outline the process, including project identification, selection, DPR preparation, sanction, fund release, monitoring, and completion. The scheme's 'Competent Authority' is the Minister, MDoNER, unless specified otherwise.

The objectives of "PM-DevINE" align with the Ministry of DoNER's vision of accelerating sustainable development in the North Eastern Region to ensure improved living standards for its citizens. These goals encompass rapid and comprehensive growth through infrastructure and social projects, promoting youth and women's livelihoods, and addressing developmental gaps across sectors.

An Empowered Inter-Ministerial Committee (EIMC) will be established, chaired by the Secretary of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region. This committee will include representatives from pertinent line Ministries, the North Eastern Council, and other relevant entities.

The Empowered Inter-Ministerial Committee (EIMC) is tasked with various functions within the scope of PM-DevINE:

Firstly, it assesses initial project proposals based on quality, viability, and socio-economic impact, working alongside representatives from relevant Indian Government Ministries/Departments and State Governments. It then recommends project selection from among these proposals.

Secondly, it evaluates final project proposals received from State Level Empowered Committees (SLECs), incorporating feedback from central line Ministries/Departments. It provides suitable recommendations for approval by the Competent Authority.

Additionally, the EIMC proposes effective monitoring and evaluation methods, which may involve on-site inspections through third-party agencies. It oversees project progress through NEC/SLEC/Central Agencies, ensuring accountability.

The committee also devises mechanisms for the operation and maintenance of PM-DevINE projects, aiming to ensure their sustainability.

Lastly, the EIMC addresses any issues forwarded by NEC or SLEC regarding project implementation challenges or guideline clarifications. It offers recommendations, potentially suggesting minor adjustments to Scheme provisions to alleviate difficulties.

EIMC will meet as frequently as needed, but at least once in three months. EIMC can meet physically, virtually or in hybrid mode, at New Delhi or at any other place in the NER.

State Level Empowered Committee (SLEC)

The State Governments will establish a State Level Empowered Committee (SLEC) led by the Chief Secretary, with the Secretary of Planning as the Convenor. It will include Finance and relevant Secretaries from State Government Departments, as well as necessary technical experts. The NEC will have representation through its Planning Adviser or delegate. The Ministry of DoNER will be represented by the Senior Economic Adviser/Economic Adviser/Joint Secretary responsible for PM-DevINE, along with the Financial Adviser or their representative. External representatives from reputable institutions may also be invited to SLEC meetings.

The functions of the SLEC encompass several aspects, including reviewing and prioritizing preliminary project proposals for PM-DevINE, ensuring alignment with guidelines, approving DPRs/techno-economic evaluations, monitoring project implementation, enhancing project management systems, establishing effective Operation and Maintenance mechanisms, addressing implementation issues, and proposing modifications if required.

SLEC meetings will be held as necessary, at least once every three months, and can be conducted in physical, virtual, or hybrid formats.

The PM-DEVINE scheme's approved expenditure for the designated period follows recommendations from the EFC and Union Cabinet approval. The 2022-23 to 2025-26 period has an approved outlay of Rs. 6,600 crore, with an initial allocation of Rs. 1,500 crore for FY 2022-23. The aim is to expedite project completion by 2025-26 to minimize liabilities beyond this period, potentially necessitating early sanctions.

Regarding project selection, North Eastern States must establish Gati Shakti implementation mechanisms like Empowered Group of Secretaries, Network Planning Group, and Technical Support Unit, along with notifying a State Logistics Policy and updating Gati Shakti National Master Plan data layers, including land revenue maps. States not meeting these criteria won't receive new PM-DevINE project sanctions from 2023-24 onwards. Project selection will be based on alignment with scheme guidelines and project quality, ensuring viability and socio-economic impact. While a fixed allocation isn't set, efforts will ensure all North Eastern States can benefit from the scheme.

The Budget 2022-23 introduced seven PM-DevINE projects (Annexure A). Relevant State or Central Government Departments should create additional project proposals aligned with scheme objectives, avoiding the Negative List. Focus sectors include economic and social infrastructure, livelihood activities, and gap filling (2.1.1). Proposals may come from North Eastern States recommended by SLEC, or Central Ministries/Departments through their respective recommendations, with priority for State-posed projects (2.1.2). Planning and selection should align with State-wise GatiShakti Master Plans, converging with the National GatiShakti approach.

Under PM-DEVINE, certain project types/components are ineligible, including those that provide long-term individual benefits or "Direct Benefit Transfer" elements. Additionally, projects already funded or planned by relevant line Ministries (to avoid duplication), land/site acquisition, and staff expenses are not covered. The scheme excludes projects for administrative buildings of government offices/agencies or institutional needs. Sectors already covered by other MDoNER schemes are also ineligible. Furthermore, any sector-specific projects specified in the Negative List by the Ministry of DoNER are not considered under PM-DEVINE.

The PM-DEVINE scheme outlines project size and support details. Projects should range from a minimum of Rs. 20 crore to a maximum of Rs. 500 crore in cost, using the latest Schedule of Rates (SOR) of the relevant central line department/State Government for cost estimation. In cases without available SORs, estimates can be prepared by concerned departments adhering to existing rules and practices of the relevant Indian Government line Ministry, followed by techno-economic vetting by reputable institutions or NEC.

Around 1% of the approved outlay can be allocated for "administrative expenses," including a tech-driven monitoring architecture spanning project phases, Project Management Unit setup, capacity building, etc. The total project cost must incorporate applicable GST, specifying CGST and SGST during project DPR submission for sanction.

Operations and Maintenance (O&M) costs for the initial four years after project completion should be part of the project cost. Proposed mechanisms for O&M support beyond four years must be indicated in the DPR and highlighted in EIMC meetings. Except when specified otherwise, O&M costs beyond the first four years of project completion will be borne by the respective State Government.

Project Selection at MDoNER

Upon receiving project proposals or concept notes, MDoNER will promptly share them with concerned Central line Ministries/Departments, NITI Aayog, and IFD MDoNER (where applicable) for preliminary comments, to be received within 2 weeks. For projects in regulated sectors like power and water, input from relevant authorities may be sought. The preliminary comments are expected to address key aspects, including the possibility of funding under existing schemes, technology options, cost norms, convergence considerations for DPR preparation, and a general project recommendation for inclusion in PM-DevINE.

 Monitoring & Evaluation Mechanism

The implementation of PM-DEVINE will adhere to Ministry of Finance's concurrent monitoring and mid-term evaluation directives. Monitoring responsibilities for sanctioned projects rest with the State Government, managed by designated officers of the Implementing Agency, State Planning Department, and SLEC. The aim is to achieve projects within scheduled time, cost, and quality standards.

A robust State Government mechanism for project monitoring is essential. Department heads will serve as Nodal Officers, with the Secretary (Planning) as Chief Nodal Officer for oversight. SLEC meetings must include monitoring of previously sanctioned projects, with Implementing Agencies providing quarterly progress reports within three weeks of each quarter's end. Periodic inspections, especially for projects over Rs. 100 crore, should occur at defined milestones, ensuring 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% physical progress.

Field Technical Support Units (FTSUs) will report monthly progress to NEC and MDoNER until their operationalization, and these reports should be countersigned by the Project Implementing Agency for consistency. NEC will review projects through its Sectors, with observations submitted to respective SLEC and EIMC prior to review meetings. MDoNER may conduct sample-based inspections. Information Technology and Space Technology (geo-tagging, NeSDR) adoption by Implementing Agencies is encouraged, facilitated by NEC's technology platform and guidance. Third-party monitors may be employed for concurrent monitoring, particularly for projects exceeding Rs. 100 crore, as recommended by EIMC.



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