Ahluwalia Talks Development Needs For NE

GUWAHATI, Jul 4: The North Eastern states have stressed on development of infrastructure for improved connectivity and rural transformation for development, Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said today.

“Many of the States pointed out that the Government of India’s Look East Policy puts the Northeast in the centre,” Ahluwalia told reporters after the first day of the Regional Consultative Meeting on the Approach Paper on the 12th Five Year Plan.

“They want connectivity with the neighboring countries to be improved for trade,” said the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission.

Stating that a strong case was made out for integration of the Northeast with neighboring countries, he said, “We will take proactive action through diplomacy for it”.

The ‘Look East’ policy, he said, was designed to achieve greater integrity of the country with the South-East Asian countries for trade.

“The areas benefiting are strategically situated in the NE region. Concerted efforts will be made for better air connectivity,” he said.

“The States suggested a bottom up approach to development with emphasis on rural areas and agriculture. This has yielded dividends,” Ahluwalia said further.

Agriculture was the best means to give impetus to development, while the success of horticulture was also highlighted at the meeting, he said.

Stating that progress and development had returned to Assam and its neighboring states, Ahluwalia further said, “That is a very strong aspect this part of the country is feeling and experiencing on a day to day basis. We can now expect greater inflow of technology to the Northeast”.

He said discussions were also held on health and education and skill development.

Save chief ministers of Nagaland and Sikkim, the others of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura attended the meeting.

(Courtesy: Press Trust of India)

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