SHILLONG, July 10: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said that the Central and State governments in the Northeast should capitalize on the improving security scenario to develop the region affected by decades of insurgency.
Addressing the security-related issues in the Northeast on the second day of the 67th Plenary Session of the North Eastern Council (NEC) on Tuesday, Singh said: “There has been a problem of insurgency for years — that has been hampering the growth of the region despite all its economic potential. But there has been a decline (in insurgency) in the recent past, which is a matter of great luck for us. We should take advantage of this improving situation. Issues in the Northeast can be resolved through mutual dialogue.”
Singh said efforts for the development of the Northeast will not be successful if there is no transparency and no end to leakage in the system. He has sought support from the chief ministers of the eight north-eastern States in this direction.
Singh said he wants the NEC to emerge as the most credible organization for the entire Northeast. “That is our ambition. I’m sure if we all work sincerely, keeping in mind the issues, this forum will be successful in the speedy development of the region. A road map will be made to sort out the obstacles emerging in the growth of the region,” he added.
“The dream of ‘New India’ will be realized with the vision of a ‘New Northeast,” the Union Home Minister said, and added: “New Northeast will emerge with better road connectivity and information technology. The Northeast needs better road connectivity and it has recently made some progress in this area. The economic potential of the region will be realized with better connectivity.”
Singh said that focus should be on growing low-volume-high-value crops for exports. The Railway Ministry can help in exporting the perishable commodities and horticulture produce like kiwis and flowers through superfast AC wagons, Singh said. He suggested the revival of North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited (NERAMAC) for marketing of agriculture produce.
“The North Eastern Region Community Resource Management Project (NERCORMP) with the Self Help Groups can extend help in this effort to increase the income and employment generation in the region,” the Union Home Minister added.
The two-day Plenary of the NEC was attended by Union Minister of State (independent charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Dr Jitendra Singh, who is also the Vice-Chairman of the NEC, besides governors and chief ministers and senior officers of the eight north-eastern States and Union Ministry of DoNER.