AGARTALA, Sept 22 - Asserting that Bangladesh and India are now enjoying the best friendly relationship ever, Bangladesh Industries Minister Amir Hussain Amu said �Dhaka wants to have greater economic integration, particularly with India�s North East.�
This will facilitate North East�s socio-economic development and better connectivity with rest of India for rapid development of the region, he added while speaking at the 3rd Northeast Connectivity Summit at Prajna Bhavan here on Thursday.
Amu said Bangladesh Government is keen to improve trade infrastructure by developing Land Custom Stations (LCSs) or Land Ports with North East as Bangladesh shares a natural boundary with Northeastern region.
�We want to improve physical connectivity with North East. Air connectivity between Guwahati and Dhaka and Shillong to Agartala via Dhaka could be explored after examining it�s connectivity viability�, he said.
Noting that railway connectivity between the two sides should be given top priority, Amu said Bangladesh attaches the highest importance to it�s relations with India in the spirit of good neighbourliness.
�Our business community is capable enough to invest and run a business outside Bangladesh. We, therefore, see the immense prospect for expanding business in NE�, he stated.
Speaking at the Summit, Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang was critical over the Centre�s move of setting up NITI Aayog by abolishing Planning Commission.
�We have to assess how many States are benefited and how many States have gained after putting in the NITI Aayog. All the NE States have suffered after abolition of Planning Commission. Things are very much confusing as to what to do with plans envisaged by the States�, he said.
On the Act East Policy, Zeliang said the Centre must come forward to identify missing lines and take remedial measures to bring growth in the NE region and it must take a role to remove missing line between North East and South East Asian nations.
In his brief speech, he strongly opposed erection of barbed wire fencing along the Indo-Myanmar border. �Nagaland�s international border with Myanmar is not similar to Indo-Bangla or India-Pakistan. Infiltration is very negligible since Naga people strongly believe in holding ancestral land. Thus fencing is not viable along Indo-Myanmar border�, he asserted.
Zeliang also laid emphasis on improving power transmission and distribution among the NE States.
Coming down heavily on the Centre for abolishing Planning Commission, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said the NE States are facing tremendous problems due to the decision. Tripura is receiving Rs 1,800 crore less in each financial year�, he said.
The new government abolished Planning Commission and set up NITI Aayog. Now, what NITI Aayog is doing? What is its plan? Nothing is clear yet�, he asked.