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Fri, 20 Oct 2017

Northeast Today

India Cannot Develop without Developing Northeast: Sumitra Mahajan

India Cannot Develop without Developing Northeast: Sumitra Mahajan
June 15
16:39 2017

Speaker of Lok Sabha and Patron, NERCPA, Sumitra Mahajan inaugurated the 16th Annual Conference of North East Region Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (NERCPA-2017) on Thursday at Manipur Legislative Assembly.

In her inaugural speech, Sumitra Mahajan, said that Manipur, the Land of Seven Sisters, has a rich art and tradition, surcharged with nature’s pristine glory. Further, she said that, peace, harmony and development in North East region is very important as it generates most powerful, positive and progressive energies and so India cannot develop without development of North East.

The conference organised by NERCPA is an important platform for the legislators of the region, to address and deliberate on the critical issues and problems affecting the North East, she said. North East India will connect with the East and South East Asian countries that are playing a vital role in the emergence of a resurgent Asia, as a gateway, which will be beneficial in several respects to the Nation. For this, the government plan to build road and port connectivity with these countries through Myanmar for promotion of trade, commerce and tourism. North East India will immensely benefit once these projects fructified, she added.

Look East Policy has now converted to Act East Policy and so all round development of North East India should be the top priority for the entire Nation. The policy has cultural and security dimensions in combating terrorism and ensuring peace and stability in the entire East Asian region apart from the economic partnership. The International borders of North East India should be explored as a trade and commerce opportunity, she said.

Legislature is a powerful agent of change and that legislators can bridge the gap between the government and the public in reflecting hopes and aspirations, fears and frustrations of the people on the floor of the House to influence the process of policy making, she observed. She also added that guidance of domain experts in several subjects is essential to perform the duty of a legislator effectively with transparency, openness and accountability, a part of good governance and policy making which has become a highly complex process. And, for this very purpose, Speakers’ Research Initiative (SRI) was established in the Lok Sabha Secretariat in July 2015, to identify the core areas/issues of long term, strategic policy and generate high quality research inputs and devise appropriate mechanism for interaction with members of both the Houses of Parliament for the purpose of information dissemination and capacity building. She said that a similar mechanism for the North East States would be of immense help to the Legislators and would extend all help for the benefit of the public representatives of the region. She encouraged the legislators to be positive in whatever they do saying ‘Until you spread your wings, you don’t know how far you can fly’.

Manipur Deputy Chief Minister Y. Joykumar Singh said that the Look East Policy was a composite policy aimed at accomplishing greater economic and political ties with the South East Asian Countries. He further added that there is a greater challenge for us in implementing the policies for arranging transportation, air and railway for the region as no nation can go ahead without knowledge, technological and market connectivity. He also stressed on the need for a peaceful atmosphere for providing an impetus to industrial rejuvenation of the region referring to the challenges relating to militancy and instability of the region.

Speaker of Manipur Legislative Assembly, Y. Khemchand welcoming the delegates said that the Act East Policy is not a simple and easy task and what we need is collective, comprehensive and co-ordinated move with strong political will to meet the challenges of the region. He further added that the strategic location of the State between India and South East Asian Countries underlines the additional expectations of the State to act as ‘Land Bridge’.

The conference which will deliberate and discuss on the theme “North East and Look East Policy” and “Special Plan for Development of Railways, Airways, Surface Road and Inland Waterways Connectivity for Speedy Economic Development of North East” was attended by respected Assembly Speakers, Deputy Speakers, MLAs from Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Assam.

In the deliberation of “North East and Look East Policy”, delegates from the North East States presented their views and opinions on the smooth implementation of Act East Policy. Thereafter, Atul Kaushik, Additional Secretary, Lok Sabha Secretariat, made a presentation on Speakers’ Research Initiative (SRI) and responded to the queries of the delegates.

The conference also adopted a Resolution to request the Speaker, Lok Sabha, to consider setting up of a chapter of SRI in North East Region so that the benefits of Speakers’ Research Initiative activities are made available to the legislatures and Legislators of the region regularly and at an accessible place.

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