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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Northeast holds key to future of India: DoNER Minister

Friday, 17 November 2017 11:26
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Dimapur, November 16: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said that North Eastern states have lot of potential which is still unexplored. 

He said, "We need to explore this unexplored potential for the development of the region and the development of the country as a whole. If one region of the country is underdeveloped, the country cannot be developed." 

Inaugurating the 2-day "12th North-East Business Summit at New Delhi, the Union Minister said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi accords high priority to the peripheral states. 

The Minister said that the potential of the developed states such as Gujarat and Maharashtra has been achieved to the maximum and now exploring the unexplored potential of the Northeastern states would contribute to the making of 'New India', which Prime Minister keeps inspiring us. 

He said that about 70% of the population of India is under the age of 40 years, this unexplored region will meet the aspirations of these youth, when other regions have saturated.

The Minister said that about 40% of the fruit production in North East (NE) goes waste due to lack of further processing, so it can be an area of potential for the industrialists. 

He said the Union Government has taken various initiatives for ensuring 'ease of doing business' in the North Eastern region.  The emphasis has been on addressing the connectivity issue, he added. He said that train services are being provided to the states hitherto untouched by the rail map of India. 

He suggested that bamboo - the thriving business sector should be taken out of the purview of the forest sector and that every district should have a post office passport Kendra for facilitating doing business in the region.

Dr Jitendra Singh said that the Prime Minister's "Startup India, Standup India" is a programme which includes incentives like, tax holiday in the early phase and an exit period of three months. Added to this, the Ministry of DoNER is offering an additional benefit of providing the initial Venture Capital Fund to any youngster who decides to set up an entrepreneurship in the Northeastern region. 

Dr Jitendra Singh said that a day will come when NE will become the favourite destination for all start-ups in India.

Appealing the business community, he said that they should explore the unutilised potential of Northeast. He said that this region has much more to offer to the business community. 

He also informed the North East Industrial Promotion Policy is also in pipeline. The North Eastern Council (NEC) is also being reoriented by the Government, Dr Singh added.

Minister of Department of Textiles, Commerce & Industries, Government of Manipur, T H Biswajit, said that Manipur would become the gateway to South East Asia. The state will have a good opportunity for investment in various sectors, he added. 

He also said that rail connectivity to Imphal will be complete by the year 2019. He also said that Manipur has potential for handicrafts and textile industry.

Secretary, DoNER, Naveen Verma said that the topics being discussed in this summit are of importance for the NE region. 

He said that Government of India has taken various initiatives for the development of NE region. These include North East Council's support toward the development of the tourism sector in the region, rural livelihood development through North East Rural Livelihood Programme and SAMPADA etc. 

He said that 'North Eastern Tourism Development Council' aims to develop regional circuits for tourism in North East and with the neighbouring countries. He also spoke on the potential of organic cultivation, medical tourism, cross-border regional value chain, infrastructure development etc. The NE is the paradise unexplored,  Verma added.

Secretary (East), Preeti Saran said that NE region plays an important role in the Look East policy of the Government. A strong and stable NE can act as a bridge between rest of India and our neighbouring countries. She gave a detailed idea about the initiatives undertaken by the Ministry of External Affairs toward integrating NER for boosting sub-regional trade and connectivity. 

She also mentioned that the MEA is undertaking the India-ASEAN Connectivity and Business Summits where North East and connectivity to the region will play an important role.

Speaking on the occasion, the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, Dr R Chidambaram, said that Ministry of DoNER is in touch for scientific and technological intervention for Northeast region. He said that scientific intervention is required in NE region in farm and non-farm sector. The gaps should be identified to see where the technology can be utilised, he added. He said that this is our responsibility to take the development of this region forward.

 P K Bezboruah, Co-Chair, ICC North-East Regional Committee & Chairman, Tea Board felt although the region has high agricultural produce, lack of agricultural marketing needs to be addressed. He also suggested that development must go hand in hand with ecological sustainability.

The summit aims to explore the scope for business opportunities in the North-Eastern region of India. Focus areas are Infrastructure and Connectivity with Public Private Partnerships, Skill Development, Financial Inclusion, Services Sector Development- Particularly in Tourism, Hospitality & Food Processing. The Summit is being organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), with Manipur being the state partner for the event. (Page News Service)


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