Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Saturday that the Central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is leaving no stone unturned in promoting the northeast on the world map and bringing progress and prosperity to the region.
Addressing the 69th plenary session of the North Eastern Council (NEC) in Shilling, Shah said whether it is natural beauty or rich cultural heritage, the region has immense potential to become a big tourism hub of the country.
“When Modiji became the Prime Minister, he said the development of India lies in the development of northeast. The region, which was neglected for decades, has witnessed unprecedented peace and development under Prime Minister Modi,” he said.
The Home Minister said that from increasing livelihoods to bringing several development projectsto the region, the NEC has played a crucial role in fuelling the economic growth of the area.
He said: “Looking closely at the development of the northeast, it would be clear that the work done by (late Prime Minister) Atal Bihari Vajpayee for the development of the region was very crucial. After the formation of the BJP-led government, the northeast was developed not just by making promises, but by taking administrative steps. After Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister, rapid development has taken place in many areas for which the campaign of connectivity was first completed… wherever possible air connectivity was done.”
Shah said that after Modi took over as the Prime Minister, the crucial role of NEC was restored and through the council 11,000 km of roads have been laid and 7,700 MW of power generation was made possible.
“Modi has himself visited the northeast more than 40 times and more than 300 visits have been undertaken by various ministers of the Central government. This shows how much priority Modi gives to the northeast region,” Shah said.
The Home Minister said that development of any state is not possible by government investment alone, as private sector participation is also very important. So the pace of development can be increased by speeding up ‘ease of doing business’. The ratio of the state’s share in GDP growth would also rise with ‘ease of doing business’.
He said the government of India is ready for the development of the northeast in every way and the region would play an important role in creating a $5 trillion economy. The ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ mission envisioned by Modi is not possible without the northeast, so all the states should prepare themselves for this.
The Home Minister said that northeast was previously known for insurgency, but today good news flows out of the northeastern states along with peace.
“Northeast represents the heart of India, we have to take care of it. While undertaking developmental activities, there is a need to preserve the heritage here. Under the leadership of Modi, we would resolve the inter-state border disputes in the northeast, and it would be a great achievement.
“There are still many areas which are not developed, so the cabinet has decided that 30 per cent of the budget would be used for the underdeveloped areas. Let the NEC discuss with every state and set targets for 2022 under the ‘ease of doing business’ mantra, which would be a major achievement,” Shah said.
Earlier, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma and Union Minister for the Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh, who is also the Vice-Chairman of NEC, received Shah at the helipad in Upper Shillong.
Except Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Governor Jagdish Mukhi and Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga, Governors and Chief Ministers of six other northeastern states took part in the important plenary session of the NEC, a regional planning body.
Ministers and officials of Assam and Mizoram, however, attended the meeting, where a large number of Central government officials were present.
According to an official, in the NEC meeting, progress of various developmental projects would be reviewed, and future plans and projects for the eight northeastern states are likely to be finalised.
A senior NEC official said that the Home Minister has asked Chief Ministers of the concerned northeastern states to resolve inter-state boundary disputes amicably through bilateral talks.
Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, while talking to the media, said that the border fencing work along the India-Myanmar frontiers adjoining Manipur is now being undertaken.
“Most of the militant outfits in Manipur are now under cessation of operation mode,” he said.
The NEC, which was set up in 1971, is the nodal agency for the economic and social development of the northeastern region comprising Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.
According to the officials, over the last 50 years, the NEC, under the Ministry of DoNER, has been instrumental in setting in motion a new economic endeavour aimed at removing the basic handicaps that stood in the way of normal development of the region and has ushered in an era of new hope in this backward area full of great potentialities.
Earlier, Shah arrived in Guwahati on Saturday and then flew to Shillong on a two-day visit to Meghalaya and Assam. His schedule includes attending the plenary committee meeting of North Eastern Space Application Centre in Shillong and the launch of Ayushman Bharat Yojana for the Central Armed Police Force personnel and their families in Guwahati.