Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that North Eastern Region will emerge as a favourite Tourist and Trade destination in India in the post-COVID era. Speaking as the Chief Guest in the 8th edition of North East Festival organized virtually, he said that North-Eastern Region will take a lead for India to emerge as an economic power with the support of its huge natural and human skill resources. He said the region will work as a “new engine” to the economy and added that it will emerge as an alternative to the European tourist destinations by virtually remaining pandemic free, when others parts of the world were infested with virus.
Dr Jitendra Singh expressed hope that holiday lovers from the next season will definitely prefer NE region for its pristine natural beauty over other global tourist destinations. He also added that NE will stand for New Engine of growth for India, when rest of world is looking for economic resurgence through trade in post-pandemic times.
He said that the region will exploit its vast untapped natural resources including Bamboo that could propel Atmanirbhar Abhiyan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi by imbibing “Vocal for Local” mantra. Dr Jitendra Singh said that recently the Central Government raised the import duty by 25 percent on raw bamboo items, which will help the domestic bamboo industries like furniture, handicrafts and Agarbatti making in a big way and promote use of bamboo as building material. He also referred to the amendment in the 100-year-old Indian Forest Act brought about by the Modi government in 2017, as a result of which, home grown bamboo has been exempted from it in order to enhance livelihood opportunities through bamboo.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that there has been a significant development in terms of Road, Rail and Air connectivity, helping facilitate the movement of goods and persons not only across the region but also across the country. He said that the youth of the region has become more aspirational in recent times and will play an important role to take the region to greater economic heights.
Referring to the Act East policy of the government, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that the North Eastern Region has a special role to play in the promotion of trade and business relations with ASEAN as it is the gateway to the growing economies of South East Asian Nations. He said, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has changed the policy of “Look East” to “Act East” to take the bilateral cooperation to newer heights.
Chief Ministers of Assam, Tripura, Manipur, Sikkim and senior Ministers and Officials of the North Eastern States joined the meeting. Foreign Secretary Shri Harsh Vardhan Shringla also delivered the special address.