Tripura CM opposes PPP model for raising infra in NE

Agartala, Sep 21 (IANS) Even though Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar sees an urgent need for raising physical infrastructures in the northeast, he advocates against harnessing the public-private partnership (PPP) model to achieve that in the mountainous region.

“Development of physical infrastructure is crucial in northeast India, but the much-talked about PPP model should not be adopted in the hilly region,” Sarkar said addressing the third North East Connectivity Summit on Wednesday.

He said, “Private investors and industrialists would not come to the region in a big way unless physical infrastructures, like roads, railways, power and connectivity, are developed. The PPP model is not workable in this region.”

In a remark aimed at NITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy, who was present and spoke at the summit, Sarkar said, “The Narendra Modi government at the Centre destroyed the vital Planning Commission and set up the NITI Aayog. Hence, there is no scope for Centre-state discussion on planning process.”

“With the demolition of Planning Commission and the new policy of NITI Aayog, Tripura is losing Rs 1,800 crore every year. How can we develop infrastructures if the central government does not help us,” he asked.

“As you are looking after the various affairs of northeastern states on behalf of the NITI Aayog, please do something for the betterment of the backward region. Only recommendations will not be enough…ways and means for real development must be evolved with adequate financial backing,” Sarkar told Debroy.

The Tripura Chief Minister said that the northeast has been neglected by successive governments at the Centre, putting the people of the region at a disadvantage.

“The northeast region is surrounded by four crucial neighbours — China, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar. We could help each other for mutual benefits,” he added.

NITI Aayog member Debroy said that development of physical infrastructure is necessary in the region.

“Services sector, like higher education, health, bio-technology and tourism, can be the priority sectors for development. Poor condition of the national highways in the region must be improved at once. Medium, small and micro industries have great scope in Northeast,” he added.

Tripura Industries and Commerce Minister Tapan Chakraborty highlighted the scope and opportunities for industries in the state. He expressed happiness that diplomats, officials and business representatives from Russia, Japan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan attended the summit.

The three-day summit has been organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) and supported by the Tripura government.

Ficci’s North East Advisory Council Chairman Ranjit Barthakur said that during the three-day summit experts, diplomats, officials and investors would discuss infrastructure development of the northeast region, information technology, healthcare, agriculture, bamboo plantation, connectivity, development of border infrastructure, and development of road, air and water connectivity.

–IANS

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