Minister for Development of North Eastern Region, Tourism and Culture G Kishan Reddy highlighted several issues critical to the growth and development of the Northeast region at the North Eastern Council (NEC) 70th Plenary meeting held in Guwahati Saturday.
Addressing the event that was attended by senior officials from the eight North Eastern States and central ministries, Reddy said that Indian Government has been working relentlessly to establish peace and stability, enhance connectivity in the region.
"NER has entered its ‘Amrit Samay’ and we need to take complete advantage of this and awaken all possibilities of growth and development," he said, adding that the goal of making NER the growth engine of India can be reached only with complete coordination between the Center and state governments.
Reddy called upon all stakeholders, Centre, States, private sector to work jointly and focus on further enhancing infrastructure and connectivity in the region. He said that complete and targeted utilization of the 10% GBS for the NER States is the key to rapid development.
Regular analysis of 10% GBS utilization needs to be done and accordingly reorienting of policies, overcoming data bottlenecks and striking coordination with central line ministries must be done, he added.
Urging all state government officers to give their recommendations to ensure effective utilization, such as amending policies, guidelines etc, Reddy said that an Agri Task Force shall soon release its final report. He said that the task force findings must be leveraged to ensure complete utilization in this financial year.
Reddy also pointed out the need to conduct a “strengths and weaknesses analysis” and “identify gaps in key sectors”. This would help in more targeted developmental initiatives, he said.
While selecting project factors such as NER district-wise SDG index, aspirational districts, connectivity to rural habitations and areas and level of poverty indices should be taken into consideration, he said.
Reddy urged the officials to ensure good tendering norms and robust monitoring.
The minister also informed that the DoNER Ministry is constituting a Tourism Task Force to ensure realization of complete potential of the region. He said that developing tourism infrastructure, skilling and capacity building are the core priorities for developing Tourism in the region.
A Global Investors Summit for NER would soon be organised and all state governments should start undertaking measures for developing an investor friendly ecosystem, he said.
Various measures such as changing the policies to suit the needs of investors, digitizing land banks, having plot level information, simplifying processes, providing single window clearance system, developing inventory of readily investible projects, establishing an investors’ facilitation centre in each State, investing on supporting infrastructure like approach roads, power connectivity, water supply etc, must be undertaken, he said.
Senior officers should work on the aforementioned and create an action plan for the Summit in the coming months, he added.