NE Summit declares setting up NEIA
Kohima, Sep. 23 (EMN): The 4th edition of the North East Connectivity Summit ‘Act East through Nagaland’ concluded in Kohima today with the unanimous declaration for setting up the North East Implementation Agency (NEIA) to carry forward development activities in the North East and to monitor funding of the each projects.
The Agency will also coordinate with the state governments and all other relevant agencies, which will implement and monitor each vertical with selected private sector partners. The primary objective of this agency is to streamline implementation and ensure timely completion of projects including development of roads and highways, inland water transport, power, airports etc.
Deputy Secretary General of FICCI, Arun Chawla, said it will work towards opening up connectivity routes with the neighbouring countries including Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.
The Summit also agreed forming a high powered North East Economic Forum comprising of the chief ministers, ministers and other relevant stakeholders which could act as a think tank for development of the North east especially with respect to connectivity.
On the suggestion for development of North East ring road, it was agreed that a ring road should be developed connecting the North eastern states, which will run parallel to the international orders and would enable border logistics in a way never before possible. The proposed road, it stated, will cover a distance of around 4000 km and would mostly follow the existing road alignments wherever possible.
Stating that the ongoing 4 laning of Dimapur-Kohima would have positive impact on the State, Chawla said it was agreed that all the state capitals in North east need 4-lane road connectivity in order to attract investments. He added that internal infrastructures of the state including roads, bridges, amenities centre etc have to be upgraded rapidly.
With NEC dedicating 40% of its budget to development of connectivity which has developed various infrastructures across north east, it was optimistic of the development to take place.
India as a whole need to do more for the development of the NER, asserted retired ambassador, Gautama Mukhoyadhaya. He insisted the NE states to make a transition from service providers to ownership and proprietors adding only then NE will really make matter to the country much more.
He said NEC Summit over the years has been a great occasion to sensitise people from the states, particularly from Delhi, capitals and metropolitan cities of India to get acquainted with the north east states not as a marginalised or a remote place.
Mukhoyadhaya opined that these summits have given an opportunity to the people to see NE as part of the nation mainstream and see the capability and quality of its people. Underlining two important points, he said there was an urgent need to bring NE region together thereby making as a productive states rather than a consuming region through harnessing local products and improving qualities of designs and access to the markets.
Emphasising that enhancing productivity of the region would make NE the engine of growth and trade and not a mere consumers of products and services, he has insisted on entrepreneurship to fulfil those criteria.
In this regard, he suggested FICCI to take up the cause for the NE by providing a forum for entrepreneurs of the NE to have markets in metropolitan cities and also provide seed money for entrepreneurship.
He expressed delight that the connectivity summit over the years had brought many voices from the NE and outside where many core issues have been discussed in detail with voices coming from experts, activists, practitioners, administrators, policy makers, government from inside etc.
Ascribing hospitality as the inborn qualities of the Northeast people, Mukhoyadhaya said it is high time for NE region to make the transition from ‘service providers to ownership.’
Myanmar government invites Nagaland
U Sai Kyaw Zaw, minister of Cultural Affairs, Mandalay Region, Myanmar, has invited Nagaland government and businessmen to visit Myanmar for cultural and business relation.
Speaking at the valedictory programme, Zaw, who came along with other 20 delegates, said out of the seven sisters in north east Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh border with Myanmar and have cultural relations since a long time.
He said Manipur and Mizoram visit Mandalay region frequently to promote their cultural and business relations. He was hopeful that Nagaland 2030 vision would be successful.
State chief secretary, Pankaj Kumar, was optimistic that the NE Connectivity Summit has provided a very useful platform for Government of India and north east states to come together and pool ideas, perspectives, expertise and network to take NE connectivity to the next level.
It was informed that Arunachal Pradesh will be hosting the 4th edition of the North East Connectivity Summit 2017.
The summit was attended by prominent personalities like Amar Abrol, CEO of Air Asia; Partha Satpathy, Joint Secretary (States), Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India; and top officials from Axis Bank, Central Bank of India, Pawan Hans, NHIDCL, Sate Bank of India, Dell, Mitsubishi, Deloitte, CUTS International, IL&FS, OTPC, etc.
Many corporate houses, multilaterals and banks have showed keen interest to work with the Government of Nagaland and in the region for development of various connectivity issues.
State chief minister, TR Zeliang and Members of Parliament Neiphiu Rio and Gaurav Gogoi were other prominent Indian political figures who participated in the summit.
Representatives from FICCI thanked the chief minister and the Government of Nagaland for their support to the summit and hoped that the 5th North East Connectivity Summit 2018 scheduled in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh, will be able to reflect on the achievements of the current summit.