IMPHAL June 16: The two-day 16th North East Region Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference resolved and urged the government of India to take prompt action in order to accelerate the ‘Act East Policy’ in the right earnest, and in letter in spirit for all round development of the entire North Eastern region.
The resolution also felt the necessity to create a separate ministry, department or forum exclusively for ‘Act East Policy’ for giving importance, focus, direction and implementation.
It said the association deliberated and discussed thoroughly on the Act East Policy and noted that the North Eastern states are frontier guard and treated as the ‘Gateway’ and the “Image of the Country” to South Asian Countries.
The resolution said the conference deliberated on the necessity for all round development of the region with respect to transport, communication and connectivity in terms of road ways, railways, airways and water ways.
The region is facing acute employment problem especially the educated, skilled and semi skilled youths, it said adding that there is huge potential for development in energy, tourism, trade and commerce.
“The region needs immediate expansion and upgradation of telecommunication and high speed band width networks, and the conference felt the need for revival of special category state status, backward region grant fund (BRGF), the North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIPP) etc for all round development and investment in the states,” the resolution said.
The resolution was signed by T.N. Thondok, Speaker Arunachal Pradesh, H.N. Goswami Speaker, Assam,Y. Khemchand Singh, Manipur Speaker, A.T. Mondal, Meghalaya Speaker, Hiphei, Mizoram Speaker, Imtiwapang Aier, Nagaland Speaker, Pabitra Kar, Tripura Deputy Speaker and Bek Bahadur Rai, chairperson, Public Accounts Committee, Sikkim.
The two-day 16th North East Region Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference (NERCPAC 2017), which was inaugurated by Lok Sabha Speaker Smt. Sumitra Mahajan on 15 June 2017, concluded today.
Addressing the concluding session Manipur governor Najma Heptulla observed that democracy is the only way to solve problems of Northeast.
She urged legislators to be well aware of the ground realities, so that they could voice the concerns of the people in a more effective manner. Heptulla said the presiding officers have an important duty to conduct the affairs of the House in a people-centric manner.
Heptulla observed that North East region, due to certain reasons, has been historically and geographically cut off from the mainland. As such, it is necessary that sincere efforts are made in right earnest to attend to connectivity-related issues.
She emphasised that there should be more direct flights to Northeast region from different cities of the country, which will not only lead to better connectivity but also to better prospects for tourism industry.
She highlighted the need for better roads and rail network as per the special requirements of the region. On health related infrastructure, Heptulla urged the authorities concerned to explore the feasibility of ‘flying doctors’ to attend to emergent situations in the hilly areas.
She also pointed out that the criterion of population for allocating funds by the North Eastern Council needed to be revisited as the interests of smaller States tend to be adversely affected by such an approach.
Today, the conference held deliberations on second agenda item, viz. ‘Special Plan for development of Railways, Airways, Surface Road and Inland Waterways connectivity for speedy economic development of Northeast region’.
Source: Imphal Free Press