FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
ITAGAR, Oct 31: Constant deliberations between the academia and bureaucrats would augur well for fast progressing Aruchal Pradesh, said Chief Minister bam Tuki, while advocating that Rajiv Gandhi University, a repository of knowledge, should act as a think tank in policy formulation.
Addressing the NE economists on 17th annual conference of North Eastern Economic Association (NEEA) at Rajiv Gandhi University near here on Friday, Tuki, speaking as chief guest, said that the state is going through a massive transition.
The chief Minister observed that the government spending of scarce resource needs to be a judicious mix, with primary focus on the social sector - health and education and Physical Infrastructure - roads, rail and airways and emphasized on innovation in government spending on delivery of public services.
Connectivity being the catalyst for development the 1,600-km Trans-Aruchal Highway would be completed by 2017 while over 529-km rural road have been built, efforts are on to introduce fixed wing aircraft service as Ziro, Pasighat, Tezu & Mechuka airports would be operatiol next year.
Besides enlisting the achievements in health & tourism, health & agri allied sectors, sectors & other initiatives to generate employment through subsidized state flagship schemes & special economic zone in foot hill areas, the CM said the 14th Fince Commission has given higher fiscal input of 72.5% against 57.5% by 13th FC while the state would get higher share of central taxes.
He informed that the government introduced a Health Cess by increasing Excise and VAT on alcohol and VAT on tobacco products to fince the benevolent health security scheme.
The state being a late starter has crossed the initial hurdles and has proposed a Vision for 2030 by then the state would undergo a sea change in all-round development.
Prof Barbara Harriss-White, Prof Emeritus of Oxford University, UK, who has in-depth working experience in Indian economics, and who visited Aruchal in 2007, observed that labour market & health, themes of the conference, are vital for India’s growth.
She raised six vital questions in her paper – India’s informal economy – questions of work & wellbeing - giving enough materials for serious thoughts.
About 93% of all livelihoods and over 60% GDP, 40% manufactures exports come from unregistered sources, covering many sectors from agriculture to the Border Roads Organisation labour force working in Aruchal which come under informal economy. Contact labour, illegal labour, women working in paddy fields etc are all part of Indian economy making India’s informal economy much larger than that of the other BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, Chi & South Africa), she said while giving a paradoxical comparison.
NEEA president Prof Sundarja Borbora of IIT-G Good under scored the importance of good governce with accountability, transparency and citizenry participation which is vital for eradicating poverty and ensuring good heath to the people to boost NE economy.
Highlighting various NE problmes, including insurgency, bandh culture and inter-state boundary problems hindering development, he urged the economists to influence the policy makers for finding a lasting solution to these problems.
The two-day conference is organised by RGU’s Economics department, whose HoD Dr Ranja Upadhya & school of social sciences dean Prof S K yak, is attended by delegates from from various parts of India, including noted economist & 13th Fince Commission member Prof Atul Sharma.