Recently Assam and Mizoram witnessed boundary flare up. Shah chaired the 69th meeting of the North East Council (NEC) in Meghalaya capital, Shillong on Saturday. He said that after taking charge as the Prime Minister in 2014, NarendraModi said that if the North-East is to be developed, then the North-East has to be given priority in all types of development schemes of the government.
“The Prime Minister directed that every 15 days, a Central Minister would visit some state in the North-East by turns and Modi has himself visited the North East more than 40 times and more than 300 visits have been undertaken by various Ministers of the Central Government. This shows how much priority the Prime Minister Shri NarendraModi has given to the North-East,” he said
Shah said that the NEC has initiated many projects to raise livelihoods in the North-East and launched several projects, which shows how important the role of NEC is.
Shah said that there are still many areas which are not developed, so the cabinet has decided that 30 percent of the budget will be used for underdeveloped areas and they will also be developed. India, as a whole, will be considered developed only when there is development of the North-East and for the development of North-East it is necessary that development reaches the people of each and every religion and language, an exercise which will be attempted through this budget.
Shah said that if the North-East Council sets a target by 2022 under ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in consultation with every state, it will be a major achievement. This will also help in attracting investment. To mark the completion of 75 years of Independence in 2022, every state should set a target and try to overcome all the difficulties that come in the way. Shah said that after Modiji, Government investment has greatly increased in sectors ranging from connectivity to job creation.
He said that the development of any state is not possible by government investment alone, private sector participation is also very important in it, so the pace of development can be increased by speeding up the ‘Ease of Doing Business.’ Ratio of state’s share in GDP growth will also rise with the ‘Ease of Doing Business.’
Shah said that there should be an effort to build a prosperous North-East. The Government of India is ready for the development of the North-East in every way and the North-East will play an important role in creating a $ 5 trillion economy. The Aatmanirbhar (self-sufficient) India envisioned by Prime Minister NarendraModi is not possible without the North-East, so all states should prepare themselves for this.
The Union Home Minister said that the NEC has a glorious past and it is expected to continue its good work in the future. Shah said the North-East has been embodied with abundant natural beauty in the whole of India; the confluence of different cultures seems to create a wonderful harmony, so this region can emerge as a major center of tourism and it will also lead to development of the North-East Region.
Shah said that the North-East represents the heart of India, we have to take care of it; while undertaking development activities, there is a need to preserve the heritage here. While we have to preserve the natural beauty here, at the same time we have to promote its culture.
Shah said that efforts are on to set up paper mills here, that will increase consumption of locally produced bamboo. The dialects here also need to be protected and they should be augmented and fostered. Modiji says that there should be development but the heritage has to be preserved. The Union Home Minister said that the NEC got its present form after Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji became the Prime Minister. The work of creating such a policy making body and making it more effective was done by Vajpayee. Under his leadership, many works were done for the development of the North-East. Looking closely at the development of the North-East, it will be clear that the work done byVajpayee for the development of the North-East was very crucial.
Shah said that after the formation of the Bharatiya Janata Party Government, the North-East was developed not just by making promises but by taking administrative steps. He also said that after Modi became the Prime Minister, rapid development was done in many areas for which the campaign of connectivity was first completed, wherever possible air connectivity was done. After Modi became the Prime Minister, the crucial role of NEC was restored and through NEC 11,000 kilometers of long roads have been laid and 7,700 megawatts of power generation was made possible.
The Union Home Minister said that the northeast was previously known for insurgency but today along with peace, good news flows out of the Northeast. By reaching out to small groups, the state governments have done the work of their disbanding. Recently there was an agreement with the Bodos group and after many years of extremism the Bodos have joined the mainstream.
Shah said that the Bru-Reang Agreement was also very important. The land boundary disputes with Bangladesh were resolved in a very simple manner which would further enhance connectivity in the coming times.
The home minister said that there is a need to resolve the disputes of the states. “The whole country is one, so we have to aim to find complete solutions to the issues. Under the leadership of Prime Modi we will resolve the inter-state border disputes in the North-East, and it will be a great achievement. Without this, development is not possible and work should be done in this direction with a strong will. The Union Home Minister said that the kind of priority that Modi has given to the North-East, we also have an obligation to make that effort successful.
Shah said that the Union Budget has been increased by 24 percent to Rs. 3,13,000 crores from Rs. 89,000 crores and many big projects have been undertaken. There should also be an effort to eliminate the entire challenges like border disputes and smuggling of drugs from abroad. The Central Government has changed its perspective of the Northeast, so the Northeast will also have to change its perception of how it looks up to the Center.