North Eastern Council (NEC) member, MP Bezbaruah has opined that the North East region has done little to contribute towards the Look East Police of the Union Government.
Addressing the 3rd Distinguished Lecture of the ASEAN Studies Center (ASC) funded by the Ministry of External Affairs at Guwahati on Friday, Bezbaruah said, “Though India’s North-Eastern has contributed very little in India’s Act East policy despite its potentials, it could not be more apt for India to Act East through the North-East as India’s most important neighbours namely Bangladesh and Myanmar are looking to India for economic integration.”
NEC Secretary, Ram Muivah meanwhile stressed upon the 186 kms missing link from the Indian side of the border which would otherwise connect the north east of India to Myanmar, Thailand and the rest of the ASEAN countries. He also stressed upon the need for more land custom stations in the north-eastern states to facilitate trade with Myanmar, Bangladesh and China.
“The public sector should play an important role in the infrastructural development in the region to lay fertile grounds for the private sector to invest in the region,” Muivah said while he also stressed on the North Eastern Council’s role in facilitating infrastructural development projects in the region.
Apart from road and railway connectivity Muivah also touched upon how Gauhati should be the hub of air connectivity with the South-East Asian countries. Muivah also mentioned about how commerce can only thrive in a region where the infrastructure is in place, which unfortunately the north-eastern region lags behind the rest of the country because of its geographical location. It is in this area that the North-Eastern Council is focused on working and he briefly mentioned the highway and road development projects of the NEC.
Muivah also spoke on the cultural connect that India shares with its South-East Asian neighbours stressing on the potential for growth of tourism industry in the region. Citing the example of an event to promote Indian culture and tourism which took place in Nepal named “Namaste Nepal” which was well received by the people of Nepal, Muivah spoke on the importance of promoting the tourism industry in the region.
“An important start could be a tour package for the north-eastern region which the NEC is looking to partner with the private sector to promote tourism in the region,” he said.