NEW DELHI, March 12 � Lauding the land transfer deal with Bangladesh, President Pratibha Devi Singh Patil, underlining the need to upgrade and expand infrastructure, said that possibilities are being explored to take up more inland water transport projects in the North-East.
�We need to significantly upgrade and expand our infrastructure,� Patil said, delivering what could be her last address to the Parliament as the country�s President.
In her 21-page-long address, the President briefly touched upon several issues pertaining to the North-East including the much hyped �Look East Policy�. A non-lapsable central pool of resources has been created to cover the gaps in funding requirements of Central Government projects in the North-East, she added.
�The security situation in the North Eastern States and Jammu and Kashmir has shown considerable improvement during the last year. My Government has always been willing to enter into dialogue with any group willing to abjure the path of violence. It is encouraging that a number of organisations have come forward seeking resolution of their grievances in a peaceful manner,� she said.
�Another tripartite Memorandum of Settlement has been signed with United People�s Democratic Solidarity in Assam,� Patil said.
In order to extend FM radio services to millions living in small towns and remote areas, the Government has taken a significant decision to e-auction 839 FM radio channels in 245 cities across the country including in border areas of Jammu and Kashmir and the North-East, the President said.
�In the realm of foreign affairs my Government has pursued a policy of promoting peace and cooperation in our immediate neighbourhood and beyond to enable us to achieve our goals of socio-economic development and national security. My Government remains firmly committed to the success of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. We wish to see all nations in South Asia prosper, enjoy stability and realise their true potential through the broadening of regional economic cooperation, trade and infrastructure development,� the President said highlighting foreign policy initiatives.
The Protocol on the Land Boundary Agreement between India and Bangladesh paves the way for settlement of long standing issues and a mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation, she said.