By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, August 22: Union Minister of Sports and Youth Affair (Independent charge) Sarbanda Sonowal said that Prime Minister rendra Modi had to articulate former Prime Minister PV rasimha Rao's 'Look East Policy' to 'Act East Policy' as the Northeast had all along been neglected with the Centre's eye set only on the South Eastern Countries overlooking the land-locked region.
The Union minister said this at a day-long semir on ‘Act East & North East: Opportunities and Challenges for India’s North East’ which was organized by Care Luit at NEDFi House in the city today.
Chief guest of the programme, Sonowal said: “The Look East Policy was introduced in early 1990s during the tenure of the then Prime Minister rasimha Rao. Though the Central Government launched the policy to develop the eastern part of the country, they concentrated more in the South Eastern countries, overlooking the north-eastern states; and for this the policy did not work well. Therefore, PM rendra Modi has articulated the policy again with a vision to develop the northeastern states, making it the commercial hub for the neigbouring countries through the BCIM Corridor. In earlier, this region was neglected. Now the Prime Minister is trying to bring about changes in the region through the Act East Policy. The PM has already taken steps to develop this region through better connectivity by roads, railways, airways, electricity and others. We are also trying to make this region a commercial centre and organic hub through skill development and empowering human resources. We also have a plan to showcase our resources like bamboo, uranium and other small scale products.”
Sonowal also said: “The Northeast is the region of prospects, prosperity and potentiality. We should make full use of the Act East Policy to develop region through competition with the South Eastern countries. We will face a cut-throat competition in every sector if and when the Stilwell Road opens."
Another guest MP Bijoya Chakraborty said: “Unity is the base to develop our region, and with unity we can achieve our goal. The world is a global village now, so we have to change our mindset with this new concept and aim for the goal."
Speaker Alok Kumar Buragohain said: "The Northeast is one of the bio-diversity hotspots in the world, and we should make plans through which we can showcase our resources. As and when the eastern door will open, we will definitely face tough competition in every aspect. We have to prepare our people to face this challenge with through skill development. For that, we also have to make our infrastructure.”
Former Ambassador of Bangladesh M Humayun Kabir said: "Though we are people of different countries, yet we are connected through ture. Because, we share same water, same earth and same environment turally. To develop together, we have to increase the connectivity in every way. We have to think globally and act locally so that we can develop together." The semir was also attended by the various eminent scholars of the country and the Northeast like Srikanth Kondapally of JNU, Sonu Trivedy of Vakir Hussain College of Delhi.