News

Continuous engagement needed for forward thrust, says Conrad

Sushma-NE CMs meet on Act East Policy

Staff Correspondent
Shillong, May 4:  Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma today said that there were challenges in the implementation of Act East Policy and continuous engagement with other North-eastern States and the Centre is required to take the Act East Policy forward with a view to boosting trade and cultural relations with Asia – Pacific countries.
Speaking at an interactive session chaired by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and attended by Chief Ministers of eight North-eastern States, Meghalaya Chief Minister pushed the idea of State level planning and action to prepare a road map for effective implementation of the Act East Policy.
“Though North-east has been clubbed as one region, yet every policy will not suit each other. Hence, a suitable approach was required, which can be arrived at with State level consultation and combined consultation amongst the States which shares border with its neigbouring South Asian countries,” the Chief Minister said.
The Chief Minister said that the engagement with External Affairs Minister and his counterpart was fruitful as they were able to come together and bring forward their ideas on how to move forward in the implementation of the ambitious Act East Policy.
During the interactive session, Conrad Sangma urged the Central Government to enhance road connectivity in the North-east with four-lane route among all the eight States of the region as well as with the neigbouring countries.
“If road and air connectivity is improved, trade and commerce would increase, which will in turn boost the socio-economic condition of our people. Livelihood opportunities will be created and our youth would be encouraged to take up entrepreneurial activities,” the Chief Minister added.
“I have urged the Centre to convene more such meetings at regional and State level that would enable the North-eastern States to understand each other and come up with appropriate action plans for effective implementation of the Act East Policy”, the Chief Minister informed.
Chief Ministers of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Assam, Manipur and Tripura took part in the session.
Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar, Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh, Foreign Secretary, Secretary (East) from the Ministry of External Affairs as well as Secretaries from the Ministry of DoNER, Tourism and North Eastern Council also participate in the discussions.