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Editorial: North East Need More Focus from Union Government

Port Wings, 28 February 2018:

The Union Government’s decision to hold a three-day business summit in Manipur from April 7 to showcase the resources and economic potential of North East India, is indeed a welcome step by Narendra Modi-led government.

The recently concluded Global Investors Meet in Assam is indeed a testimony for the Union government’s zeal to mainstream the part which has been in isolation even after seven decades. In 2016, Union Ministry of Development of NE Region in association with the Manipur government had organised similar meet –North East Business Summit and it eventually helped the business community to grasp the potential of the region.

Endowed with huge untapped natural resources, the North East of India is acknowledged as the eastern gateway of India’s Look-East Policy.

North East states, which cover 8 % of land and about 3.1 % of population of the country, are unique in many ways.

Though the region is often cited in Delhi’s power corridors as conflict-stricken remote corner of India, the Government of India is duty bound to bring the region back into mainstream by exploring opportunities to lift local economy.

For decades since independence, the North Eastern states had remained largely inaccessible to the rest of the country due to various reasons, including language and distinct ethnicity.

Furthermore, the lack of importance shown by the Union Government in New Delhi in bringing them into mainstream had alienated the people of North East and the discord has fomented series of insurgencies against the Government of India.

However, the new government at the Centre, after fully grasped with the ground situation as well as opportunity to create a new chapter in the relationship, mend their ways with the leading players in the region to bring peaceful atmosphere permanently.

The summit was part of the Act East policy of the government to showcase the resources, scope and ability of North East comprising eight states – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim.

The summit mostly focussed on exploring the possibility of trade and commerce with ASEAN (10 countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries under Act East policy of the government.

According to the experts, the summit gave a platform to all potential investors in different sectors such as food processing, horticulture, tourism, handloom and handicrafts, startups and entrepreneurship to have a better understanding about the investment environment and potential of the North-East Region.

However, the Union Government has to tread cautiously in projecting North East as potential destination of investment, as the locals have a negative thought on the mainland India of usurping economic resources of the region without adequately compensating them back.

So, it is time to prove the locals that Government of India could walk the talk on bringing economic prosperity in the region with visible development helping the entrepreneurs of North East.


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