The Union Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (I/C), Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh today reiterated the Government’s commitment to ensure fast-track development in the North east region. He was addressing the media after chairing the Consultative Committee meeting for Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) in Jammu. Dr. Jitendra Singh said that the Government has taken major strides in the development of the North Eastern Region in last four years.While addressing the members of the committee, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that there was a need to highlight special qualities of each state for developing its unique identity alongside the collective identity of ‘North East’. He said that this will provide developmental, economic, cultural and political identity and impetus to each of the NE States. He further said that there was a need to synergize the efforts of the Ministry with that of the concerned State agencies for overall development of the region.To various issues raised by the members of the Consultative Committee regarding the need for expanding markets, Dr Jitendra Singh remarked that the Ministry of DoNER was also exploring areas of collaboration with other Ministries so as to tap domestic and international market. He also stated that the Ministry would focus on aligning with State agencies of other States to provide mechanism of selling to each other Handloom and Handicrafts products. Mentioning the various steps taken by the Ministry for expanding markets for local artisans, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that handloom counters/showrooms for exclusively NE products were being opened at various airports across the country. Handloom counters were also being opened in various cities of India outside NE region including Metro cities, he added. He said, Digital shopping interfaces were being developed to capture online customers. The Minister also said that 20 percent rebate on freight charges and 30 percent on air cargo is being given for the products produced in NE region.
Dr. Jitendra Singh also informed the members of the Committee that the DoNER Ministry was taking several steps to facilitate loan availability by emulating models of Bihar and Andhra Pradesh. He said, MoUs have been signed with IDBI and other banks and there had been substantial progress in states like Tripura, Sikkim, Nagaland and Mizoram.Speaking about the state of health institutions in NE region, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that Government was committed to reach the remotest corners of the region for providing health facilities and was working for making Doctors available through air-ambulances. He also extended his support for investment by private sector through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model in health sector.Later, addressing the media persons, Dr Jitendra Singh said that Government was committed to ensure that the ‘east’ grows at the same pace as the ’west’ for which efforts are being taken to improve the physical and social infrastructure in all the states of NE. He said that it was first time in the history of North-East that two states, - Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya, were connected by rail. Referring to various progressive steps taken by the Ministry with regard to StartUp and StandUp India, the Minister said that youth not only from the region but also from outside the state were getting attracted towards opportunities of entrepreneurship in the region.Dr Jitendra Singh said that theme-based cultural Regional Festivals were being organized in various parts of the country to promote tourism in NE. He also mentioned various projects in the field of Horticulture that are being implemented in PPP mode in the North East. He also said that students’ hostels and Convention Centers are being constructed in New Delhi for cultural hubs of the NE region.The Consultative Committee reviewed the progress of various schemes being implemented by Ministry of DoNER. These schemes include North Eastern Handicrafts and Handlooms Development Corporation Ltd. (NEHHDC), Livelihood schemes being implemented by the Ministry such as North East Rural Livelihood Project and North Eastern Region Community Resource Management Project (NERCORMP). The Committee also took up for discussion the status of various projects being implemented by the North Eastern Council (NEC).