TODAY -

Obstacles to Easy Mantra
- Hueiyen Lanpao Editorial :: July 17 2015 -



Prime Minister Narendra Modi led Union Government seems quite sure of pushing forth certain development mantra for the Northeast Region of India.

The manner in which he plans to take up development initiatives and the urgency stressed on developing the region should be critically assessed.

This becomes a necessity when one considers state specific issues that have dogged the region and which could also indirectly act as the main obstacles to Modiís overture.

The Prime Minster once again reiterated the resolve of the Centre to ensure rapid development of the Northeast region of India.

He has put special emphasis on infrastructure initiatives taken up by the Union Government in the region through a NITI Aayog presentation during the meeting with the Chief Ministers of the North Eastern states on Wednesday.

However, the meeting was attended by just the Chief Ministers of Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura and also Finance Minister of Mizoram.

Chief Ministers of five States Ė Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh abstained from the meeting citing various reasons. Manipur Chief Minister Ibobi could not make it due to the Special Session of the Manipur Legislative Assembly that was summoned to withdraw the Manipur Regulation of Visitors, Tenants and Migrant Workers (MRVT&MW) Bill 2015.

Those who were present include Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Vice Chairman NITI Aayog Arvind Panagariya.

During the meeting it has been made clear that there has been a significant fund allocation for infrastructure development by the Government of India in the Northeast since the advent of the Modi regime.

Those who attended the meeting had been reportedly told that under Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for the North-East (SARDPNE), Rs 35000 crore has been proposed to be invested to develop the Trans-Arunachal Highway and for connecting all district headquarters by a 2 lane highway (about 6400 Km).

New rail network is being created in addition to strengthening the existing network at a cost of Rs 57000 Crore.

The Chief Ministers have been told that there were similar efforts made on investments by Telecom, Power, Civil Aviation and Shipping ministries in order to improve the surface and internet connectivity in the region as part of the Act East Policy (AEP).

While Modiís move could be well intentioned, the Delhi sultans and mandarins should seriously note that without repackaging state specific political and economic needs, all their efforts would come to naught.

The fact that not all the Chief Ministers from the region turned up for the meeting chaired by the Prime Minister cannot be solely attributed to the constraints of national politics as represented by the opposition party like the Congress.



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