Stable, progressive NE vital for a strong India: Rajnath

SHILLONG, 10th July: Stressing the need for further promotion of social stability so as to accelerate the development of the north-eastern states, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the road to ‘New India’ will go through a developed and peaceful ‘New North East’. Addressing the concluding session of the 67th Plenary Session of the NEC at Shillong on Tuesday, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a dream of New India by 2022, which will be realised on the actual materialisation of the vision of a ‘New North East’.

Stating that the ‘New North East’ will emerge with better road connectivity and information technology, he expressed confidence that the dream will soon be a reality as there has been some progress in both sectors. “If we can provide quality broadband services in the region, the youth of the North East will find the employment opportunities closer to their home. It would also stop the migration of local youth to distant areas of the country,” he added.

As ITIs and polytechnic institutes are vital for skill development, the NEC should also consider setting up of a regional institute for skill development, Rajnath stressed, adding that impetus to employment and income generation will help contain the problems like insurgency in the region. The North-Eastern states need to create conducive and safe environment for private investments as pro-active involvement of private fund providers will give tremendous boost in fulfilling the aspirations of youth of the region, he said.

Rajnath said accelerating the growth of agriculture will help achieve the Prime Minister’s dream of doubling the farmers’ income by 2022. He further emphasised that the focus should be towards growing low volume-high value crops for export.

While revival of North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited (NERAMAC) will be decisive in marketing of agricultural and horticultural produces the Railway Ministry can help in exporting perishable but highly valued crops like kiwis and flowers through superfast AC wagons, Rajnath maintained.

Pledging Centre’s support to the NE states in improving the police infrastructure and calling upon the regional governments to take advantage of improving peaceful scenario in the region, the home minister stressed that the NE states need to identify specific development areas, chalk up plan and implement them in a time bound manner to tap the vast explored human and natural resources.

“We need to prevent leakages in the system and ensure total transparency and accountability. I urge the Chief Ministers of all North Eastern states to work towards this end with missionary zeal,” he added. “I need the support of the Chief Ministers. I request them to pay attention and work with full involvement and zeal. I am sure if we all work sincerely, keeping in mind the issues, this forum will be successful in the speedy development of the region.”

Pointing out that the central and state governments in the northeast should take advantage of the improving security scenario to develop the region hit by decades of insurgency, the home minister said issues in the region can be resolved through mutual dialogue.” Addressing the security-related issues, he 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,” he said.

Rajnath Singh added that the law and order situation can’t be the sole responsibility of the central agencies. The two-day session was attended by Union MoS for DoNER Dr Jitendra Singh, besides governors and chief ministers and senior officers of the eight North-Eastern states and Union Ministry of DoNER.

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