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Development of ties with rest of India stressed

By The Assam Tribune

GUWAHATI, Jan 13 - Speaking at the 2nd PGPR ADDA, an interactive discussion programme on India�s Act East Policy and its impact on Assam in general and Dibrugarh in particular organized by the Policy Group For Peoples� Rights (PGPR), a leading NGO of Upper Assam, former Indian Ambassador Dr Jaimini Bhagawati stressed the need for developing connection between the North East and the rest of India before connecting with our eastern neighbours. This was stated in a press release.

He said that even within Assam, the poor state of roads, lack of adequate number of bridges and neglect of waterways has resulted in poor connectivity within the State. He pointed out that the Government should focus on the welfare and development of Assam and the other north- eastern states and not merely focus on trade with the neighbouring countries if India�s Act East Policy is to be relevant.

Bhaskar Mitra, former Indian Ambassador to Myanmar spoke of the grim political and economic situation in the North East and the lack of development even after receiving funds. Taking the example of the spectacular rise of per capita income in China�s Yunan province, which was one of the most underdeveloped parts of China, Ambassador Mitra suggested that the Indian Government can do the same for the north-eastern States by adopting a policy of massive government investments in infrastructure, environment, human capital, people�s welfare and industries. Dr Nagen Saikia, former MP and former president, Asam Sahitya Sabha, spoke of the need for civil society to take active interest in this matter.

Dr Aradhana Kataki, president PGPR, in her opening remarks stated that the ADDA was part of the group�s efforts to energize the civil society to be more proactively be involved in the developmental process. Dr Kunjalata Deori, vice-president of Policy Group for Peoples� Rights informed the gathering that Policy Group For Peoples� Rights has formed a think-tank with the esteemed paneslists to discuss, deliberate and make suggestions relating to the development of Dibrugarh in particular and the North East in general in the context of India�s Act East Policy.

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