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NE key to Act East policy: DoNER Minister

By Correspondent

SILCHAR Nov 11 - Union Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh on Tuesday said that the northeastern region can play a pivotal role in the meaningful implementation of the government�s ACT EAST policy.

Addressing an international seminar on �Economic Dependence of Northeast India and its Bordering Nations� organised by the Department of Economics at Assam University Silchar, the DoNER Minister said � since the BJP Government took over, North East is viewed from the prism of development and the change of the approach from �Look East� to �ACT East� is an evidence to the Government�s intent to usher in development in the region, enmeshed with a plethora of problems despite being a land of abundant opportunities for economic growth.

�Only looking at the eastern part from a distance will be a mere rhetorical exercise. Hence the Government decided that it is time to Act East. The need of the hour is to enable the north-eastern States to become self dependent in the domain of economic development which will lead to employment opportunities.

Emphasising on the prospects of the region which in his words carries the solution to its problems, Dr Singh said that instead of looking towards Delhi, Mumbai and other developed cities, people in North East must realise that answers to their sloppy economic progress lies in the region itself. He also highlighted the fact the region must explore trade opportunities with neighbouring nations like Myanmar and Bangladesh.

�The intra-regional connectivity has become a cause of concern here and the Government is well and truly aware of this situation. The Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is taking steps to boost the trade and commerce prospects of this region and efforts are being made to set up new airports together with improved railway connectivity linking all the states of the region, �Singh said. On the other hand, the DoNER Minister also assured Prof Dilip Chandra Nath, who chaired the inaugural session and the varsity fraternity that he would extend all assistance in fulfilling a long-pending demand of a new and state of the art auditorium for the university.

Prof Kamal Ahmed Chaudhury of Shah Jalal University, Sylhet, Bangladesh, professor Hiranya Kumar Nath of Sam Houston State University, USA, chairman of the organising committee of the seminar Niranjan Roy and convener Raju Mandal also attended the inaugural ceremony of the two-day international seminar.

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