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Food for thought

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Japan has decided to invest Rs 13,000 crore for development in Northeast India. This investment will be in schemes and projects in the different States of the region. This was disclosed following a crucial meeting between DoNER Minister Dr Jitendra Singh and Japanese Ambassador to India Kenji Hiramatsu the other day. Japan’s interest to invest in the northeastern region of India has to be viewed from at least two angles. One, Japan is an investment-centric country, with its technological expertise backing its missions of development worldwide, at least in the pan-Asian region. We in India, especially in the Northeast where graft (or misappropriation of public money) is the rule of the game of sorts, need to ascertain that the money being invested in such a huge amount reaches its logical end – which means the contractors involved in the activities to unfold must be on the scanner all the time. And two, while Japan invests its expertise in this region, its governments – across the Northeast right from Tripura to Arunachal Pradesh – must choose to learn the lesson of development politics. This is hugely imperative in a region that still remains development-starved despite the millions of rupees flowing in from the Centre for development. Is this asking for the moon?