NEW DELHI, April 11 � Drawing an encouraging economic scenario for the region, President Pranab Mukherjee today said the economic development taking place in the North-east will benefit not only the people of the area, but also the entire country. Locational advantage and rich resource endowment of the North-east make it an ideal hub for dealing with India�s eastern neighbours.
�The region has a crucial role to play in the implementation of the government�s Act East Policy, which seeks to build closer bonds with the 10 countries of ASEAN which are amongst the fastest growing countries of the world,� he said.
Stating that the north-eastern states are an important part of the country, the President said despite their small population, the people of the region have made immense contribution and took active part in the freedom struggle.
Many of their political personalities have enriched national life. The region has rare flora and fauna, natural scenic beauty and rich cultural heritage. The festival showcasing the rich, cultural ethnicity and diversity of North-east India will help bridge the gap between the people of the north-eastern states and the rest of India.
The President was inaugurating a cultural festival �Songs and Dances of the North East� organised by the Government of Meghalaya and sponsored by the North Eastern Council, here today.
DoNER Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said an event like this is not a substitute, but in fact, a supplement to all the activities that the DoNER Ministry has started on fast-track in the north-eastern region during the last four months. The purpose of holding events like this is to showcase the various facets of North-east to people living outside North-east, he added.
The theme of future events in this series, Dr Singh said, will be determined on the basis of the characteristics of whichever state is hosting the event and the city in which it is being held.
This initiative will also help in convincing potential investors and visitors, including producers from film industry, at a much cost-effective budget, in the north-eastern region.
Speaking on the occasion, Meghalaya Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma said, by showcasing the culture and assets of Meghalaya before the rest of the country through an event like the one held today, it would be possible to bring mainstream India closer to Meghalaya and also elicit support and patronage from the rest of India for the development of Meghalaya.