NE at the heart of Act East Policy: Assam Govenor

NE at the heart of Act East Policy: Assam Govenor
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Dimapur, July 17: “Development of North East has to be viewed not just from a domestic perspective but also in the context of neighbourhood of India. Friendly partner countries essential to our vision for Northeast, which can contribute substantially for a comprehensive development of NE, India and ASEAN as a whole,” Governor of Assam, Prof. Jagdish Mukhi said this at the seminar on “Natural Resources, Skill Manpower and Development of North East” at St. Joseph’s College (Autonomous), Jakhama today.
Mukhi said that the central government views the Northeast region as very vital for the development of the entire country and has put the region at the heart of Act East Policy, and in view of this Bhutan and Bangladesh have already opened their Consulate offices in Guwahati and Singapore is in talks to open its Consulate.
He also pointed out that Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura have been brought under the railway map and the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation, incorporated in July 2014, is working with a special focus on NE.
With the proximity of NE to many ASEAN capitals, Governor Mukhi said that the central government is keen to start flights between Guwahati and ASEAN capitals with Thimpu, Singapore and Dhaka already connected to Guwahati. The government is also working to improve the motorable road link, the ASEAN trilateral highway connecting NE and ASEAN countries.
On the State front, Mukhi said, Nagaland has always occupied the nucleus of Northeast development agenda. He said that the Civil Aviation Ministry has approved, two helicopter services to keep the state headquarters connected with the district headquarters and under the Union Budget, 2019-20, Rs. 500 crore was allocated for rail, connecting Dimapur with Kohima. To augment air services in Nagaland three new routes were taken up in which Dimapur will be connected with Guwahati, Imphal and Dibrugarh and under UDAN scheme, construction of Greenfield Airport at Ciethu, Kohima is on the pipeline.
With the strategic geographical location of the State in the ambit of the Act East Policy of GoI, Governor Mukhi, said that Government of India and the State government is planning, executing and monitoring development schemes and projects with special emphasis on Nagaland.
He said that the government is working to stimulate economic development of the State by incentivizing farmers to expand the scale of commercial production, create employment opportunities in non- agricultural sectors to absorb the educated unemployed and to ensure that regional balance takes place.
While pointing out the regions rich natural resources and biodiversity, he emphasised the need for the growth in economy with the growth of ecology. Praising the social and cultural ecosystem of the northeast, Mukhi said it is home to some of the oldest indigenous communities in the world.
Governor of Nagaland P B Acharya, in his address also emphasised that “Unless Northeast develops India cannot progress.” He said that skill and manpower development should be the agenda and there is a need to bridge the gap of skill and manpower with natural resources, industries, trade and commerce.
Acharya said that universities play an important role in bridging this gap by not only being centres of knowledge, but also centres of development and empowerment. (Page News Service)