Itanagar, July 10: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu has suggested that the North Eastern Council (NEC) expands its activities to bring sustainable development in the region.
“It has been more than 46 years since the inception of North Eastern Council. There is no doubt that the NEC has played a crucial role in funding important development projects in the region,” he said.
“However, time has now come that NEC expands its role from (being) a mere funding agency to act as a premier think tank of the North Eastern Region which guides the North Eastern states in bringing sustainable development in the region,” said Khandu, in his address at the two-day 67th plenary session of NEC, which commenced on Monday at Shillong with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in the Chair.
He said, to achieve the same, there is a need to bring in domain experts in NEC on developing clear-cut roadmap for ushering massive investments in the region. “Not only does North Eastern Region require adequate funds, but it also requires technical experts who suggest ways to bridge the massive divide between North Eastern region and rest of India,” he advocated.
Pointing that his state was struggling to tap its potential due to lack of human resource and technology, the chief minister urged the NEC to “institute a detailed study as to how the massive area of my state can act as a boon for the region”.
“The study must then translate into action by provision of adequate funding through various sources,” he suggested.
Khandu further said the NEC must also find ways to showcase best practices of the states in the NER which can be replicated so that we all benefit from this common forum.
“Recently, NITI Aayog has formed NITI Forum for North East to address the regional imbalance in the region. I would urge NEC to use this opportunity to emerge as the Planning Body of the North Eastern Region by tying up with NITI Aayog,” he added.