By Pranbihanga Borpuzari
While things may look bleak and myriad of issues face the eight northeastern states, Sam Pitroda, Advisor to PM on Public Infrastructure, Information and Innovations, urged entrepreneurs, business houses and policymakers to stop complaining and start acting to change the situation.
“The northeast is an important part of the country which deserves more importance. These states should focus on three initiatives for improvement-infrastructure, information system and innovation. The NE states have human capacity and potential. The government is there to help,” said Pitroda.
The two-day 8th North East Business Summit organized by Indian Chamber of Commerce sought to highlight the potential and problems of the states. “The northeast states have tremendous tourism potential. We are now focusing on IT and an IT Park which is being set up in Imphal. A timber park has also been set up to facilitate furniture-manufacturing. Apart from offering subsidies in various sectors, the government is also introducing interstate transport subsidy for the food sector,” said Govindas Konthoujam, Minister Industries and Commerce, Government of Manipur.
The North East offers huge opportunities in sectors of strategic importance like energy and infrastructure; oil, natural gas and hydrocarbons; agro, food processing and horticulture; floriculture; IT and ITeS and tourism. Necessary infrastructure development, greater promulgation of e-governance, reinstatement of affordable rail, road, air and inland waterway connectivity between the Northeastern states and the rest of India, and the Southeast, South and East Asian countries can unlock the true economic potential of the region, said speakers at the event.
“The North East is virtually sitting at the cusp of a high trajectory growth path, by virtue of its strategic location, natural resource base, high literacy rate and an English-speaking population. As pointed out by the 12th five-year plan, connectivity is crucial for ensuring the future growth and development of the NE regions, and its ensuing integration with the neighboring Southeast Asian, East Asian and South Asian nations,” said Rajiv Mundhra, President at the Indian Chamber of Commerce.
The two-day Summit had focused sessions on critical sectors & issues including-infrastructure and connectivity through Private Public Partnerships, border trade, tourism and hospitality opportunities, oil and gas, horticulture and food processing amongst others.
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