Golden period for northeast under BJP-led NDA government : Amit Shah

Shillong, Jan 19 (UNI) Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday termed the past decade under the BJP-led NDA government as the “golden period for the northeast” in terms of development and a secure law and order situation.

Addressing the 71st Plenary Session of the North Eastern Council (NEC) meeting here in Meghalaya, Shah said, “In these 10 years under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the distance from North East to Delhi and the rest of India has reduced due to the creation of infrastructure.”

He said the Northeast, which was struggling with various ethnic, linguistic, border and extremist groups related problems, has also got the beginning of a fresh and durable era of peace in these 10 years.

The Home Minister told Governors and Chief Ministers of the eight North Eastern States present at the meeting that “If these 10 years for the Northeast are compared with the 75 years after the country’s independence, then this decade will definitely be considered as the Golden period of the Northeast.

We have always considered the Northeast as an important part of India,” he said.

“During the time of Atalji, by giving it priority, a separate ministry was created for the Northeast and today under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, the three mantras of ‘Act East’, ‘Act Fast’ and ‘Act First’ are being implemented. Along with this, impetus is being given to the Northeast by giving priority to it in all the ministries of the Government of India,” Shah said.

Highlighting some of the achievements of the central government in the past decade, the

Minister said, 11,121 violent incidents took place in the northeast from 2004 to 2014 when the Congress was in power. Such incidents have declined by 73 per cent to 3,114 from 2014 to 2023.

Deaths among security forces dropped by 71 percent from 458 to 132, while civilian deaths declined by 86 percent in the past 10 years, he said.

Shah said that the insurgency-related incidents have also come down significantly because in the last 5 years more than 8,900 rebels of various militant groups have surrendered and have joined the mainstream.

Further, the Home Minister also informed that 75 percent of the areas in the region which were covered under Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) have been removed from the ambit of AFSPA from 2018, barring a few areas of Assam and Manipur.

Shah said this has sent a strong message across the country that “peace and prosperity are interconnected” and without it the states or a region cannot develop.

The Home Minister , who is also chairman of the NEC, the regional planning body of the North Eastern States, said that in the 50 years of its establishment, the NEC has increased the pace of development in the region by providing a policy-related platform to all the states and simplifying the solutions to their problems.

“In these 50 years, more than 12,000 km of roads have been constructed in this region, 700 MW power plants have been established and many institutes of national excellence have also been established under the guidance of NEC. Under the leadership of Modi, the role and scope of NEC has been increased under the Act East Policy,” he said.

Along with this, work has also been done to promote the use of technology in administration by using North-Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC).

Shah said that the language, culture, food, attire and natural beauty of Northeast will give a great boost to this region in global tourism.

The Home Minister said that the Modi government has allocated Rs. 4800 crores for the year 2022-23 to 2025-26 for the Northeast and there is an increase of about 162 percent in the budget. He said that the 10 percent Gross Budgetary Support Scheme has greatly benefited the development of the Northeast. An allocation of Rs. 1500 crore has been made in PM-DevINE (Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for North Eastern Region) for 2022-23 and Rs. 6600 crores for 2025-26.

“An Inter-ministerial task force has been formed for agriculture, eight ropeways have been taken up under the National Ropeway Development Programme, and the budget of the DoNER Ministry has increased by 153 per cent.

Under the National Edible Oil Mission, Rs. 234 crores have been allocated in the Northeast alone to give priority to palm oil. Along with this, 32 projects worth Rs. 1713 crore have been approved under the Special Infrastructure Development Plan of Northeast. Among the achievements of North Eastern Development Finance Corporation, schemes worth Rs. 5490 crores have been approved from January 2023 to December 2023,” Shah said, adding that under the SAMBHAV scheme, work is being done to provide basic facilities to 75 Gram Panchayats and councils of 42 districts of eight North Eastern states.

He said that the Modi government has also done infrastructure expansion in the Northeast. In the last 10 years, the Centre has invested Rs. 81,000 crores in railways, Rs. 48,000 crores in road connectivity and 5196 km long roads have been constructed in the Northeast under the Bharat Mala project.

Under the UDAN scheme, eight new airports have been constructed and 71 new air routes have been started in these 10 years.

“If Northeast becomes self-reliant in organic products, dairy farming, fishing and egg production, then 13 lakh people can be given employment in these four sectors alone. Development of the region alone is not enough, but there should also be development of the individual and for this industrial production and agriculture are the only options,” Shah observed.

“When India is going to become a 5 trillion-dollar economy, the Northeast should also set a target of giving its lion’s share in this effort and when the whole of India becomes completely developed and self-reliant in 2047, then our North-East will also become fully developed and self-reliant,” he said.

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