AIZAWL, Aug 15 (IANS): Mizoram will be the gateway to Southeast Asian countries after the construction of the Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project in neighbouring Myanmar, Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla said here Wednesday.
"The Multimodal Transit Transport Project would not only improve connectivity between northeast India and Southeast Asian nations but also boost the economy of the region," Lal Thanhawla said after unfurling the national flag at the Assam Rifles Ground here.
India in 2010 began constructing a river port and waterway terminal in Myanmar, aimed at promoting trade and connectivity between the two countries.
Construction for the Myanmar-India Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project linking Kaladan river in Sittway township of Rakhine state in Myanmar was undertaken with India's funding.
Referring to the Mizoram government's flagship programme - the New Land Use Policy (NLUP) - Lal Thanhawla said: "The central government had approved Rs.2,873 crore under special central assistance for implementation of the NLUP for rebuilding rural economy."
He said that over 120,000 families would be benefited by the NLUP, which is aimed at ending the traditional 'jhum' cultivation (slash-and-burn method of shifting cultivation).
Lal Thanhawla said: "Already 90,139 farmer families have benefited under the state government's flagship scheme and 29,861 more families would benefit during this financial year."
"The Planning Commission has appreciated the Mizoram government for launching such a unique scheme. The NLUP's success could be a model for other northeastern states," he added.
The Mizoram government initiated its NLUP in January 2010 to put an end to the age-old shifting or slash-and-burn method of cultivation, and help the tribal farmers to shift to stable cultivation of various cash crops.