Udayavni Special

Participation of private sector needed to speed up development in NE: Shah


PTI, Jan 24, 2021, 8:28 AM IST

Shillong: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday emphasised the need for participation of the private sector to speed up development of the North-East and said that it is imperative to resolve the boundary dispute among the states of the region. Shah said that the region was previously known for insurgency but peace prevails now.

“Development of any state is not possible by government investments alone. Private sector participation is also very important. The pace of development can be increased by speeding up Ease of Doing Business,” he said while chairing the 69th plenary session of the North Eastern Council (NEC) here.

The NEC is the nodal agency for the economic and social development of the Northeastern region which consists of eight states — Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.

“Let the NEC discuss with every state and set targets for 2022 under Ease of Doing Business. It will be a major achievement,” he said.

To increase consumption of locally produced bamboo, efforts are on to set up paper mills in the region, he said.

“Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we will resolve the inter-state border disputes in the Northeast and it will be a great achievement. Without this, development is not possible and work should be done in this direction with a strong will,” Shah said.

As the region has abundant natural beauty and is a confluence of cultures, it can emerge as a major centre of tourism, the Union home minister said adding that dialects of the Northeast also need to be protected.

“North-East represents the heart of India, we have to take care of it. While undertaking development activities, there is a need to preserve the heritage here,” he said.

After Narendra Modi became the prime minister, the crucial role of the NEC was restored and through it, 11,000 kilometer of roads have been laid and 7,700 megawatt of power generation was made possible, Shah said.

Boundary disputes with Bangladesh were resolved and it would further enhance connectivity in the coming days, he said.

On insurgency in the region, the Union home minister said that state governments reached out to small groups, which led to their disbanding.

Following an agreement, Bodo groups joined the mainstream after years of extremism, he said.

There should also be an effort to stop smuggling of narcotic drugs from outside the country, he said.

“The central government has changed its perspective of the Northeast, so the Northeast will also have to change its perception of how it looks up to the Centre,” Shah said.

He said that under the leadership of the prime minister, all states of the North-East have successfully fought against coronavirus.

The vaccination drive has started and it is expected that soon we will overcome this pandemic, Shah said at the meeting.

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