Aizawl, Aug 15 (IANS): Mizoram is one of the highest growing economies among Indian States, along with Gujarat, Jharkhand and Tripura, that recorded above 8 per cent growth rate during the last four years, Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla said here on Wednesday.
"With the introduction of New Land Use Programme (NLUP) and New Economic Development Policy (NEDP), today Mizoram is one of the highest growing economies among the States in the country," the Chief Minister said after unfurling the National Flag at the Independence Day function at the Assam Rifles ground here.
"Mizoram ranks first among the small Sates and second among all States in health index prepared by the World Bank Group and NITI Aayog. The State has the second highest literacy rate in the country.
"With the implementation of various Central-sponsored schemes and the State's flagship programmes -- NLUP in 2011 and NEDP in 2016, there have been notable achievements in agriculture and allied sectors. NLUP has been a substantial contributor in the decline of 'jhum' (shifting cultivation) area by 31.37 per cent during the last six years.
"Assistance was given to around 18,000 beneficiaries in the first phase and second phase under the NLUP and NEDP," he added.
The Chief Minister said that out of the cumulative figure of Rs 2,000 crore set aside for NEDP by the State government for three years (2016-2019), about 85 per cent was provisioned for infrastructure development and operation and maintenance of public infrastructures.
"Mizoram Economic Conclave 2018, the first of its kind, was organised in April to deliberate on the challenges and opportunities in the process of economic growth focusing more on the role of agricultural sector including skills and entrepreneurship development.
"'My Project, My NEDP', is another important initiative under the NEDP which is intended to enable public participation in the formulation of major development project of common public utility."
He said in the recent "Magnetic Mizoram Investors Summit", the state signed a letter of intent worth Rs 600 crore in solar energy and Rs 1,500 crore in hospitality sectors with private investors.
The Chief Minister said that in a major breakthrough, the political level "peace talk" between Mizoram government and the terrorist outfit -- Hmar People's Convention-Democratic (HPC-D) - was held under a cordial environment culminating with the signing of an accord and laying down of arms by the 114 militants.
He said that Mizoram has been declared the 13th Open Defecation Free State in the country on March 30.
The 72nd Independence Day was observed across the state with numerous functions and programmes including sports events and cultural functions.