STAFF Correspondent

SHILLONG, Jan 24: The 69th Plenary Meeting of the North Eastern Council (NEC) came to a close here today with discussions on the progress of ongoing projects in the region.

The two-day plenary was inaugurated by Union Home Minister Amit Shah here on Saturday while Union Minister for the Development of North Eastern Region Jitendra Singh addressed the valedictory session.

Emphasising on the overall development of the region, both Shah and Singh said the country’s development depends to a large extent on how fast the northeastern region develops.

Both the Central ministers informed that in the last seven-odd years the focus of the Central ministries was to put the region on the path of fast-track development.

Shah informed that the Cabinet has decided that 30 percent of the Budget will be earmarked for underdeveloped areas of the country for undertaking developmental works.

Addressing the valedictory session, Singh said the northeastern region would lead the growth story of India, when the rest of the world is looking for economic resurgence through trade in the post-pandemic period.

He said that the region would be one of the favourite business destinations of India post COVID-19 and bamboo is going to be the key pillar of the economic activities.

The Union minister asked all the States to equip themselves in order to make optimum use of the favourable conditions in the North East in the post COVID-19 period.

The minister also urged all the States to utilise the funds that have been allotted by various ministries so that the benefits of the schemes reach everyone.

Lauding the utilisation of funds sanctioned through the NEC, Singh said utilisation of funds by various States of the region for implementing various projects in the past few years has been encouraging.