Minister for Development of North Eastern Region, Tourism, Culture, and, Shri G. Kishan Reddy addressed the North Eastern Council (NEC)’s 70th Plenary meeting held in Guwahati. Addressing senior officials from the eight North Eastern States and central ministries, Shri Kishan Reddy highlighted several important issues critical to the growth and development of the region.
He said that Indian Government has been working relentlessly to establish peace and stability, enhance connectivity in the region and have attained considerable success as well. He said that it is Hon’ble PM Shri Narendra Modiji’s strong belief that without development of North East Region, India cannot develop.
He said that NER has entered its ‘Amrit Samay’ and we need to take complete advantage of this and awaken all possibilities of growth and development. The minister impressed upon the officers that the goal of making NER the growth engine of India can be reached only with complete coordination between the center and state governments.
He further added that all stakeholders, Centre, States, private sector need 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. He all urged all State government officers to give their recommendations to ensure effective utilization, such as amending policies, guidelines etc.
He said that an Agri Task Force which was recently constituted shall soon release its final report. He said that the task force findings must be leveraged to ensure that complete utilization in this financial year.
The Minister also suggested that there is a need to conduct a “strengths and weaknesses analysis” and “identify gaps in key sectors”. This would help in more targeted developmental initiatives. He further added that 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 also urged the officials to ensure good tendering norms and robust monitoring.
Reflecting on tourism potential of the region, the minister informed that the Ministry of DoNER 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.
He also highlighted that we must also explore the potential offered by security services industry to generate employment among the youth in the NER.
The Minister further emphasised the need for private investment. He said that central and state governments need to jointly work to develop an investment-friendly environment in the NER. He suggested that a few top-priority/target sectors need to be identified and work on increasing investment potential of the region and overcoming bottlenecks in those sectors.
The Minister said that a Global Investors Summit for NER should be organized soon and all State Governments should start undertaking measures for developing an investor friendly ecosystem. 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 added. He called upon the senior officers to work on the aforementioned create an action plan for the Global Investors Summit in the coming months.