By Bijay Kumar Singh and Jayanta Bhattacharya Agartala, Apr 10 (PTI) The NITI Forum for North East today outlined five development missions for promoting sectors like horticulture, tourism and food processing in the region, NITI Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar said here today.
Other missions will cover bamboo-based handicrafts and medium scale industries with focus on ‘Make in North-East’, he said.
Kumar said it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to establish a regional NITI Aayog forum for the north eastern states.
A regional forum for Himalayan and Coastal states will also be set up soon, he said.
Kumar was addressing the first meeting of the newly constituted forum here.
There has been outflow of resources of North East to other parts of India, he said, adding that the states in the region “must bring back not only its resources but also additional resources. For that we will have to create employment opportunities in the region”.
There is a challenge to bring the north eastern region into the mainstream and the central government is working to connect it with the rest of India, he said.
“To make north-east more familiar in the rest of the country, one emporium would be set up in all the districts of the country, so that people can know about the products of the region,” Kumar added.
He also pointed out that in the 1950s, per capita income of North East was highest in India.
In his address, Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) minister Jitendra Singh said that the government has already initiated talks with a private airline for connecting Agartala with Dhaka and Chittagong.
He also underlined the need for completion of the 15 km long Agartala-Akhaura rail link for improving connectivity of north-east with Bangladesh.
The meeting also discussed the need to complete of the bridge on the river Feni in Sabroomn which connects Chittagong and Tripura, he added.
After completion of the bridge on the river Feni at Sabroom in South Tripura district, broad gauge railway track would be extended to Chittagong port, and Tripura would act as the gateway for the North-East, the minister said.
Among others, the meeting was attended by Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and ministers from other North Eastern states.
The NITI Forum for North East was constituted in February 2018 to ensure sustainable economic growth of the region.
The secretariat for the Forum has been established in the DoNER Ministry.
The Forum includes representatives of all north eastern states, their chief secretaries and secretaries of the central ministries, directors of reputed institutions like IIT and IIM and journalists.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.