NITI Forum for North East holds first meeting

ANI | Updated: Apr 10, 2018 12:16 IST

Agartala (Tripura) [India], Apr 10 (ANI): The first meeting of newly constituted NITI Forum for North East was held in Agartala on Tuesday, to discuss ways to boost development projects in the states.

The meeting was chaired by Rajeev Kumar, the Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog and the co-Minister of State (Independent Charge), Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Jitendra Singh.

At the meeting, Singh extolled the North East as a region of unexplored potential and said that NITI Aayog plans to initiate venture funds for startups, under the industrial development scheme.

"If this picks up, North East region will become famous among tourists," he added.

The forum will also focus on development of roads to enhance connectivity in the North East states, as well as begin Rajdhani Express trains to New Delhi.

Referring to the newly opened Pakyong Airport in Sikkim, Singh said the state did not have an airport in 70 years until now.

A planning commission was also not set up in region in the 70 years, he further said, and added, "The expenditure on the region has been enhanced in the last three years."

At the meeting, Rajeev Kumar, Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog and the co-Minister of State (Independent Charge), said, "This is the part of the Prime Minister's vision to start regional council. The council will help solving inter-state problems."

He further listed three reasons why NITI Aayog became part of this:

- We want this forum beyond the routine thing. Fresh ideas. Think on the line to tap huge potential which this North East region has.

- We need to supplement the North East council by ideas, and focus on implementation. We will set up a unit in NITI Aayog specially dedicated for North East region. How to get tangible result.

- Private Public Partnership (PPP). Exploiting the potential; We need to figure out bottlenecks in education, agriculture, tourism etc. and find out the way.

"We need five to six specific suggestion/ measures from today's forum that can be discussed further and implemented for the betterment," Rajeev Kumar said.

"We are committed to resolve issues. I am seriously urging to please come with ideas on how to eliminate the land lock nature of this region. This region has the longest border of 5400 km. There has been outflow of natural resources. We need to think how to reverse this system, create opportunities to young people of this region," he added.

The 'NITI Forum for North East' was constituted in February 2018 with an aim to ensure the sustainable economic growth of the North Eastern Region (NER) of the country and periodically review the development status in the North Eastern region. (ANI)