New Delhi: The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh announced a new direct daily air flight from Delhi to Dimapur in Nagaland via Kolkata and back along the same route from 15th April onwards, in addition to another daily flight from Kolkata to Silchar and back which was resumed from 20th of last month. Dr. Jitendra Singh was addressing the inaugural session of 64th Plenary Meeting of North-Eastern Council (NEC), here today.
Admitting that air connectivity has always been an issue for the North Eastern Region, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, three hangers had been constructed and made functional by the Airport Authority of India at Guwahati airport with NEC support and hoped that Guwahati airport would soon become a regional hub for air flights.
The Plenary meeting was attended by Governors and Chief Ministers of North Eastern States, senior Officers from State Governments, union Ministries and other central Government Organizations.
Elaborating on some of the innovative initiatives taken during the last few months, Dr. Jitendra Singh referred to a unique practice of holding the Ministry of DoNER’s camp office by rotation in each of the eight North-eastern States starting from February this year which has been designated as “DoNER at Doorstep” (DAD). In addition to allowing closer interaction of DoNER officials at the ground level, he said, this practice will also help in sending a psychological message to the people of the North East that they need not travel to Delhi each time for the redressal of their grievances but Delhi can also come to their door step.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, the Prime Minister attaches a great deal of importance to the development of the North Eastern Region and accordingly he has advised all his colleagues to visit the region and personally monitor the implementation of their Ministry’s schemes and programmes in the NER for understanding the issues concerning each of the States. As per the new arrangement, at least eight Union Ministers would visit the NER every fortnight, he added.
Dr. Jitendra Singh further reminded the members of the Council that Central Government has announced in the Union Budget 2015-16 that manufacturing hubs would be set up through Indian private sector participation in South East Asian Countries which would boost trade and commerce between the landlocked North East and neighbouring countries. He also mentioned the decision to set up All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Assam, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Nagaland and Centre for Film Production, Animation and Gaming in Arunachal Pradesh.
Addressing the gathering, the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Shri Kiren Rijiju said that the development priorities for a particular State should be fixed in consultation with that State. He said that politics should have no place in developmental activities and that there should be absolute coordination between the State Governments and the concerned Central Ministries. Shri Rijiju observed that pilferage is not endemic to the North-Eastern Region (NER) and that corruption should be eradicated in implementation of development plans. He said the NER has the potential to emerge as a trading hub and that the Union Government has the vision to “Look East through North-East.”
The Secretary, NEC, Shri Ameising Luikham presented his report on the activities of the Council during the preceding year which includes important events that have taken place during 2014-15, major initiatives, projects and schemes that have been taken up and some areas of concern requiring the attention of the Members of the Council. The implementation of the Annual Plan 2014-15 and the Sectoral allocation for the Annual Plan 2015-16 were highlighted.
Discussions were held on the various developmental activities taken up in the North Eastern region by the different Ministries and Government organisations including the Ministries of Railways, Road Transport and Highways, Civil Aviation, Inland Waterways Authority of India, Power, Tourism, External Affairs on Act East Policy, Home Affairs on Border Trade – status on ICPs, Land Custom Stations, Border Haats, Banks, Visa facility etc, Human Resource Development, Department of Telecommunication, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Department of Financial Services on financial inclusion and banking services issues in NE Region and North East Space Application Centre, etc.
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