Northeast will become torch bearer of New India in post COVID era: DoNER Minister Jitendra Singh
The minister was speaking at a seminar on “Act East Policy: Enhancing Trade Infrastructure and Connectivity in the North Eastern Region” organised by ICRIER
Northeast will become the torch bearer of New India, as India prepares to celebrate 75th Year of Independence in 2022, said Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space.
Speaking as Chief Guest in a seminar on “Act East Policy: Enhancing Trade Infrastructure and Connectivity in the North Eastern Region” organised by ICRIER, Singh said, Northeast will be the New Engine of growth for New India.
The DoNER minister said that, in the Post-COVID era, India’s Economic Resurgence will not be complete unless it takes care of the vast unexplored potentialities and resources of the North-Eastern Region.
If India has to successfully engage with the countries across the eastern borders, it must have a strong basis in the areas proximal to eastern borders which comprise the North Eastern States, he said.
On the issue of connectivity, Dr Jitendra Singh said it includes both International as well as Internal connectivity with dimensions of Intra-regional connectivity and inter-regional connectivity. On international connectivity, he mentioned issues like Agartala-Akhaura Rail Link between India and Bangladesh, Intermodal transport linkages and inland waterways through Bangladesh, Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project and the Trilateral Highway Project connecting the North East with Myanmar and Thailand, according to a release.
Singh said in the release that the government’s focus on ACT EAST - with development of North East region and completion of an array of projects like grandest of bridges, improving inland water transport, airports, rail and roads networks - has changed the narrative of news emanating from NER in the past few years.
India’s pre-emptive response to Covid and outreach towards other nations has enhanced bonding and trust with its neighbours to rely on us in the times of crisis. Witnessing our commitment and continuous efforts towards the development of NER, ASEAN countries are now looking at strengthening trade ties with the region, he added.
Singh explained that the ‘Act East Policy’ announced in November, 2014 is the upgrade of the “Look East Policy” which was promulgated in 1992. It aims at promoting economic cooperation, cultural ties and develop a strategic relationship with countries in do-pacific region with a proactive and pragmatic approach and thereby improving the economic development of North Eastern Region (NER) which is a gateway to South East Asia Region.
The policy has been continuously evolving since early 1990s and involves intensive and continuous engagement with South East Asian countries in the field of connectivity, trade, culture, defence and people-to-people-contact at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels.