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The Meghalaya cabinet on December 21 approved the proposal for availing loan of Rs 1,500 crore under the NABARD Infrastructure Development Assistance (NIDA).

Meghalaya is the second state in the Northeast after Assam to avail this loan.

Informing this after the meeting, Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma said: “We have put in a proposal of Rs 1,500 crore to NABARD for this fund. Today the cabinet has approved it and the proposal will be sent to NABARD for final approval and release of the funds to the state government.”

He said that the assistance under NIDA is based on the overall revenue earning capacity of the state and calculation is accordingly made by NABARD.

“This is a loan component that is used for infrastructural development work but it does not come into the budgetary provision of the state government, it is implemented through the public sector undertaking,” he said.

The chief minister further informed that the state government is going to take up various infrastructural developments under the NIDA funds that include infrastructure for the over 40+ community and rural development blocks.

“We are going to budget some Rs 100 crore for the lower primary schools. We will also be budgeting money for administrative blocks, wherever it is required, administrative units like civil sub division buildings, DC offices, SP offices – all these administrative buildings will be done with this fund,” he said.

“We also intend to invest in police stations as they have been neglected for a very long time. With the NIDA fund, we will see development and infrastructure improvement throughout the spectrum,” he added.

The chief minister then said that the state government will have to repay the loan in the next 15 years.

He also said these are important investments that the state government is making and more importantly these are funds that come after a detailed calculation which is being made by NABARD.

“Other states like Assam, the government had already applied for this and they have got an approval of close to Rs 10,000 crore of funds for this particular project and scheme and we are the second state to take advantage of this particular scheme at least in the Northeast,” he added.

He further informed that the interest component will be at 7.5 per cent, which is much lower than the market rate.

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