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�Framework agreement can put past behind�

By Correspondent

DIMAPUR, May 29 - Nagaland and Assam Governor PB Acharya has stated that the �framework agreement� signed between Government of India and NSCN (IM) on August 3, 2015 is a �great opportunity to put the troubled past behind us.�

He was addressing the 65th Plenary Meeting of North Eastern Council in Shillong on May 26. Mentioning the need to introspect as to how the process of bringing in permanent peace in the region can be facilitated, Acharya urged support for the peace process. He termed the agreement a �momentous development� which deserves to be welcomed by all. �This is the time for all of us to support the peace process for a permanent solution,� he stated.

While lauding the NEC for being instrumental in setting the stage and ushering in a new hope for development in the region, the Governor cited the lack of facilities in the region. There is an urgent need of air connectivity in Dimapur-Imphal-Agartala-Kolkata-Guwahati route, Acharya stated. Further stating the need to promote industries, trade and commerce, he requested the withdrawal of NEIIPP-2007 which has been kept under suspension since 2014 and suggested pragmatic land use policy be formulated for attracting industries in the region.

He thanked the Union Government for setting up a Regional Passport Office in Dimapur and also approving the setting up of Veterinary college in Nagaland. With regard to the setting up of a Medical college in Kohima, he urged that the process be expedited.

Mentioning about the seven India Reserve Battalions including one Mahila IR Battalion, Acharya requested the NEC and DoNER Ministry to evolve a strategy to extend infrastructure support to such Battalions.

The Governor also urged the NEC to promote the tea and bamboo based-industry. He also requested the NEC to set up Food Park and Solar Park in all the Northeastern States. �For setting up of solar power plants in Nagaland, the financial support provided by MNRE will have to be increased significantly to bring down the cost of solar energy. The viability gap funding may be increased from 30 per cent to 70 per cent�, he stated.

He also mentioned the need for cold-storages � to preserve �organic vegetables and fruits� and Skill Development � for a constructive dialogue between industry, trade, commerce, and Universities and Higher Education so that need and supply will be addressed.

He further cited the People to People Fellowship Exchange Programme � an initiative he undertook for emotional integration between the people of Nagaland and other regions of India. Under the said initiative, groups of specialised doctors from Mumbai had come to Nagaland and conducted free medical camps at various places in the State while also distributing free medicines and conducting free surgery to the needy patients.

�This has really helped in promoting emotional integration and better understanding amongst the people of Nagaland and other parts of the country,� he stated.

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