New Delhi, June 5: Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Friday said new paradigms will emerge post-COVID-19 with a potential for new breakthroughs in economy, trade and scientific research, catapulting the Northeastern region as the economic hub of the country.
Inaugurating an e-Symposia organised by APJ Abdul Kalam Centre for Policy Research and Analysis and IIM, Shillong, through video conference, Singh said in the last six years, under the Narendra Modi government, the northeastern region has made up for several lapses of the past and for the first time, the region received equal attention at par with other regions of the country.
Singh, the Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), said this has not only instilled confidence among the people but also raised the capacity to engage with other parts of India as well as the countries outside, at different levels.
“New paradigms will emerge post-COVID-19 with a potential for new breakthroughs in economy, trade, scientific research and several other diverse areas, catapulting Northeast as the economic hub of the country and a preferred destination for startups,” he said.
He said the region is slowly but firmly coming up as a new business destination of India.
Lamenting the lack of interest of the successive governments towards the comprehensive development of region in the past, the minister highlighted the initiatives taken by the NDA government for the comprehensive and holistic development of this region.
“Be it overcoming the connectivity issues or encouraging entrepreneurship in the region, this government is fully committed to provide all possible assistance and support,” he said.
As can be seen, in the last six years, there has been a significant development in terms of road, rail and air connectivity, helping facilitate the movement of goods and persons not only across the region but also across the country, he said.
Singh said states Like Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya, which had not seen Railways till a few years ago, are now connected with trains.
Similarly, he said, states like Sikkim has seen an airport for the first time and other states are also witnessing the opening of new ports or augmenting the facilities and capacities of the existing ones.
The minister said the Indo-Bangladesh treaty for exchange of enclaves, which was accomplished under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, has cleared the decks for ease of business, ease of movement and ease of commuting, which was earlier a tedious task.
“Very soon we are also going to have a train to Bangladesh from Tripura, heralding a new chapter and opening new vistas in the development of this region by providing the entire region access to the seaports,” he said. Needless to say, this will boost the trade across the borders especially with our eastern neighbours by leaps and bounds, he said.
Singh said the central government has also come up with a new scheme called North East Road Sector Development Schemes (NERSDS) for development and proper maintenance of inter-states roads within the region, which has colloquially acquired the name of ‘Orphaned Road’ because of its persistence neglect by both the connecting states. (PTI)